Eight defendants, including six Mexican nationals, forced young women and underage girls from Mexico and Latin America into prostitution in the United States.
The Rendon-Reyes Trafficking Organization operated as a family-based criminal enterprise that smuggled young women and girls into the United States for over a decade, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York originally charged defendants Jovan Rendon-Reyes, 33, of Mexico; Saul Rendon-Reyes, 39, of Queens; Guillermina Rendon-Reyes, 46, of Mexico; Francisco Rendon-Reyes, 28, of Queens; Jose Rendon-Garcia, 34, of Mexico; Felix Rojas, 47, of Mexico; Odilon Martinez-Rojas, 45, of Mexico; and Severiano Martinez-Rojas, 52, of Mexico in 2015. Law enforcement officers in the U.S. and Mexico simultaniously arrested the suspects in a bi-national operation in November 2015.
Between April 5 and April 21, 2017, all eight defendants pled guilty to, “charges of Racketeering involving predicate acts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and sex trafficking of minors.”
In addition to the racketeering charges that all eight defendants pled guilty to, seven of the defendants pleaded guilty to additional charges.
Court records indicate the Rendon-Reyes Trafficking Organization recruited girls from Mexico and illegally smuggled them into the United States. Once in the country, the girls were trafficked into New York and Georgia where the defendants forced them into prostitution as sex slaves.
Jovan Rendon-Reyes, Saul Rendon-Reyes, Felix Rojas, Odilon Martinez-Rojas and Severiano Martinez-Rojas each pled guilty to “substantive offenses of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion.” Jose Rendon-Garcia also pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor while Francisco Rendon-Reyes also pled guilty to “interstate transportation for the purpose of prostitution.”
The defendants admitted during plea proceedings that they recruited young women and girls from Mexico on “false promises,” smuggled them into the United States and forced them into prostitution. Members of this criminal enterprise used “used force, threats of force, fraud, deception, and coercion to compel them to engage in prostitution.”
The defendants laundered the profits they made from prostituting the young women and girls back to Mexico.
Two of the defendants, Odilon Martinez-Rojas and Severiano Martinez-Rojas, were also involved in a separate sex trafficking case in Northern Georgia in 2013. Odilon Martinez-Rojas received a 262-month prison sentence in 2014 while Severiano Martinez-Rojas remained a fugitive until November 2015.
“The Department of Justice is committed to bringing to justice anyone who engages in the abominable crime of human trafficking,” said Attorney General Sessions. “The defendants, in this case, preyed on vulnerable young women and girls, and brought them to the United States with the sole purpose of subjecting them to degradation that no person should have to endure.”
In total, the defendants admitted to sex trafficking nine women and two minor girls. The defendants also forced a twelfth woman into prostitution.
When sentenced, all eight defendants will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Large-scale criminal organizations from Mexico can be found operating all throughout the United States. Breitbart Texas reported on Friday that authorities arrested and charged 17 alleged operatives for a Mexican drug cartel in Colorado.
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.