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Hispanic Gang Nailed on Sex Trafficking in Tennessee

U.S. Attorney's Office May 09, 2011, Eastern District of Tennessee (865) 545-4167

GREENEVILLE, TN-A federal grand jury in Greeneville returned a 13-count indictment on May 3, 2011, against nine individuals for prostitution-related charges. The indictment alleges that the nine individuals created and operated a network of brothels and prostitution delivery services in Knoxville, Morristown, Johnson City, and Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky.

According to charges in the indictment, the network catered to Hispanic men by recruiting Hispanic women who were not legally present in the United States. The indictment further alleges that the defendants transported the women in interstate commerce from one city to another on a weekly basis for more than four years.

The nine defendants were charged with conspiring to transport individuals in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes; conspiring to induce individuals to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes; and conspiring to operate brothels with illegal aliens. In addition, each defendant is charged with one discrete act of transporting or inducing the travel of an individual in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes. The two final counts charge the nine defendants with conspiring to transport and harbor illegal aliens.

The nine defendants charged include: Reyna Rodriguez Rios, Eusebio Flores Martinez, and Elda Dorali Moreno Ramirez, all of Knoxville, Tenn.; Rubio Trinidad Narciso, Rosa Garcia Menendez, and Raymundo Sanchez-Torres, all of Morristown, Tenn.; Freddy Lopez Torres of Goodlettsville, Tenn.; and Obdulio C. Morales and Esthela Silfa Vasquez, both of Louisville, Ky.

United States Attorney Bill Killian said, "Human trafficking is an ever-increasing problem. These charges show the vigilance and ability of the local, state, and federal agencies to detect this conduct."

Trial will be conducted in Greeneville, Tenn. If convicted of the prostitution charges, the defendants face a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release up to five years on each count. If convicted of the immigration charges, the defendants face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release up to three years on each count. If convicted of any charges, the alien defendants also face removal from the United States.

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and Hamblen County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Smith will represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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