On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that several members of the Mexican-based Rendon-Reyes Trafficking Organization have recently pleaded guilty in federal district court in Brooklyn, New York, this month to racketeering and other federal charges arising from their scheme “to force young women and girls from Mexico and Latin America into prostitution.”
This particular sex-trafficking ring has been engaged in forcing women and young girls into prostitution, after smuggling them into the United States, over the last 10 years, according to the DOJ.
These women and girls are usually convinced to enter this country illegally from Mexico with false promises of legitimate jobs or marriage. Due to the grinding poverty and the crushing drug violence now gripping that nation, a promise of a better life is likely an easy sell.
The DOJ made an announcement of the defendants’ guilty pleas and detailed their crimes.
“The eight defendants were charged in July 2015 in a 27-count indictment in the Eastern District of New York with Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy involving predicate acts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, sex trafficking of minors, money laundering, alien smuggling, and interstate transportation for prostitution, in addition to parallel substantive charges.
“The defendants were arrested simultaneously in the United States and Mexico in November 2015 as part of bilateral enforcement action.”
“In a series of guilty pleas entered between April 5 and April 21, 2017, all eight of the defendants pleaded guilty to charges of Racketeering involving predicate acts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and sex trafficking of minors. The defendants are Jovan Rendon-Reyes, aka Jovani, 33, of Mexico; Saul Rendon-Reyes, aka Satanico, 39, of Queens; Guillermina Rendon-Reyes, 46, of Mexico; Francisco Rendon-Reyes, aka Pancho, 28, of Queens; Jose Rendon-Garcia, aka Gusano, 34, of Mexico; Felix Rojas, 47, of Mexico; Odilon Martinez-Rojas, aka Chino or Saul, 45, of Mexico; and Severiano Martinez-Rojas, 52, of Mexico.
“In addition to the Racketeering charges, defendants Jovan Rendon-Reyes, Saul Rendon-Reyes, Felix Rojas, Odilon Martinez-Rojas and Severiano Martinez-Rojas each pleaded guilty to substantive offenses of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; defendant Jose Rendon-Garcia also pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor; and defendant Francisco Rendon-Reyes pleaded guilty to interstate transportation for the purpose of prostitution.
“Defendants Odilon Martinez-Rojas and Severiano Martinez-Rojas were also charged in a separate bilateral sex trafficking prosecution in the Northern District of Georgia in 2013. Odilon Martinez-Rojas was convicted in October 2014 and sentenced to 262 months’ imprisonment in January 2015 in that case. Defendant Severiano Martinez-Rojas had remained a fugitive from that prosecution until apprehended during the November 2015 bilateral enforcement operation. On April 18, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking charged in the Northern District of Georgia case, in proceedings transferred to the Eastern District of New York for entry of the defendant’s guilty plea.”
Of course, this represents only the latest example of this ongoing human rights crisis, which has been largely facilitated by a lack of enforcement of our immigration laws.
In February of 2011, Alexander Rivas, 18, was arrested by Alexandria police following an investigation that began in November when the father of a 14-year-old runaway told police his daughter was living with Rivas. Court documents state that the girl was found in the gang member’s apartment and was being used as a prostitute.
According to prosecutors, Rivas ran a prostitution ring, operating in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, using underage runaways. The affidavit states that the business catered to “construction workers and illegal immigrants.”
On a typical Friday or Saturday night, the operation would see about 100 customers paying for sex. Rivas typically charged $50 for sexual intercourse with the girls.
A 17-year-old girl told detectives that Rivas carried a machete, which he nicknamed “his wife,” when taking her to have sex with his clients. He reportedly used the machete to intimidate anyone who tried to avoid paying.
Rivas admitted to once robbing a group of men of $1,200 and announcing, “What are you going to say…That you got robbed after having sex with a minor?”
Rivas was charged with sex trafficking of children by force, fraud, or coercion. In July 2011, Rivas was found guilty and sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, according to an FBI press release.
The website InSightCrime also elaborated on the role these Latin American gangs play in underage prostitution.
“Rances Ulises Amaya, alias ‘Murder’ or ‘Blue,’ leader of the Lokotes Guanacos ‘clica,’ or clique, a reference to a gang cell. Amaya is a ‘palabrero,’ or leader, in Virginia and in charge of sending extortion money to Salvadoran prisons, according to two testimonies collected during criminal proceeding number 11-CR-56 opened against Amaya in 2011 for charges of conspiracy to traffic a minor and three charges of sexual trafficking of minors.
“On June 15, 2012, Judge Anthony Trenga sentenced Amaya to 50 years in prison.”
In July of 2009, Emma Tlacoxolal-Perez was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 33 months in prison for running brothels in Chesapeake, Newport News, James City County, and Williamsburg, Virginia.
The Mexican national was the head of a prostitution ring which employed women smuggled into this country from Mexico and only catered to other illegal aliens. Tlaccoxablal-Perez, along with co-conspirator Felipe Vargas-Ortega, passed out business cards to advertise for the brothel known as El Nopal (“The Prickly Pear”).
Tlacoxolal-Perez, 37, who had been operating brothels in the Hampton Roads area since 2004, was actually deported in 2006, but easily found her way back across the largely unprotected border.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia described how the prostitutes were paid.
“The indictment alleges that upon payment for sexual services, the customers would receive a poker style playing card from one of the co-conspirators. The customer would then turn the card over to a prostitute as proof of payment. At the end of their employment the prostitute would turn all playing cards over to one of the co-conspirators who would pay the prostitute $15.00 for each playing card.”
The Newport News location was in a suburban neighborhood and Mexican men typically went through the neighborhood at all hours, knocking on folks’ doors looking for the brothel.
All of those involved are illegal aliens from Mexico, El Salvador, and Ecuador.
On April 8, 2008, while testifying before the Florida House of Representatives in support of tougher immigration enforcement measures, Bill Stewart, then-Deputy Chief of Staff for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum gave the details of a sickening crime.
“Florida is the number one state in the nation for human trafficking. And I will just leave you with a recent story that occurred in the panhandle.
“There were several girls that were trafficked into the panhandle from Mexico. These girls were raped repeatedly over a week’s period of time, and one of them actually resisted while she was being raped.
“So the smugglers grabbed all of these girls, chained them in chairs, and put them in a room. They brought in the girl who refused to be raped, and they beheaded her, in front of all of the other girls that were in that room. And they left them there, with her body, and those little girls, for several hours.”
Just as illegal immigration has spread throughout the United States, an epidemic of human trafficking to supply the brothels which cater to them has spread to every corner of this nation.
Most of these women are confined in locked rooms with nothing but the clothes on their backs and are often beaten. Of course, the women and girls who are kept in these prostitution rings are illegal aliens as well and are afraid to report what is being done to them. They are often told that if they leave, their families back home will be murdered.
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]