WASHINGTON - Consuelo Carreto Valencia pleaded guilty this afternoon to one count of sex trafficking, for benefitting financially from her participation in an organization that transported young Mexican women to the United States and forced them into prostitution. Under the terms of her plea agreement, Carreto Valencia faces a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment, an estimated guideline sentence range of 135 to 168 months, and a fine of $250,000. The guilty plea proceedings were held before U.S. District Judge Frederic Block at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y.
From 1991 through 2004, Carreto Valencia served as a manager in her family’s sex trafficking operation based in San Miguel de Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico. Carreto Valencia, and her sons Josue Flores Carreto and Gerardo Flores Carreto, and other co-conspirators, recruited young, uneducated women and girls from impoverished areas of Mexico and used or approved of a combination of deception, fraud, rape, forced abortion, threats, and physical violence to compel them to prostitute themselves in brothels throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Queens and Brooklyn. Carreto Valencia and her family made hundreds of thousands of dollars in prostitution profits, while the women who had been separated from their families in Mexico received next to nothing.
During her guilty plea, Carreto Valencia admitted that while living in Mexico, she received wire transfers of money from New York, fully aware that they were the proceeds of acts of prostitution performed by women who had been recruited and smuggled into the United States by her sons, Josue Flores Carreto and Gerardo Flores Carreto and others. Carreto Valencia also admitted that she knew that the young women had been forced into prostitution in the United States.
Previously, in April 2006, Josue Flores Carreto, Gerardo Flores Carreto, and co-defendant Daniel Perez Alonso were sentenced to terms of imprisonment of 50, 50 and 25 years, respectively, following their guilty pleas in April 2005. Carreto Valencia was extradited to the United States from Mexico in January 2007 to face the charges against her.
"This prosecution demonstrates the Department's continued determination to prosecute sex trafficking operations," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "It is our hope that with this successful prosecution, the victims of this crime, from whom so much has been stolen, will begin to recover their lives."
"Sex traffickers prey on the vulnerabilities of their victims to force them into lives of servitude and rob them of their human dignity," stated Benton J. Campbell, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "We will hold accountable those persons who subject other human beings to conditions of servitude in order to line their own pockets."
"Few crimes are more vile than sex trafficking helpless victims – it is nothing less than modern-day slavery," said Peter J. Smith, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Office of Investigation for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York City. "ICE will vigorously pursue and prosecute any members of a criminal enterprise engaged in this dangerous, dehumanizing, and illegal business."
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica E. Ryan and Special Litigation Counsel Hilary Axam from the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The case was investigated by ICE Special Agents from the New York Office, with assistance provided by ICE Special Agents from the New Jersey and Mexico City offices, the New York City Police Department, the G-TIP office at the U.S. Department of State, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, and officials of the Mexican Prosecutor General of the Republic.