Fugitive Apprehended And Sentenced To Federal Prison For Role In Prostitution Conspiracy
Tampa, FL - United States District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Blanca Ceballos (49, Orlando) yesterday to three years in federal prison for conspiring with others to promote a prostitution ring in Polk County. Ceballos pleaded guilty on November 7, 2007.
According to the indictment and testimony in court, Ceballos, who was a citizen of the Dominican Republic, conspired with others to operate numerous houses of prostitution in the Middle District of Florida. She aided that conspiracy by arranging for the transport of women to the houses to work as prostitutes, and by collecting and depositing the proceeds from their prostitution activity. In 2007, Ceballos pleaded guilty and then failed to appear for sentencing before the court in 2008. Ceballos apparently fled the United States at that time and law enforcement was unable to apprehend her. She was arrested in April 2013 when she flew back into the United States from the Dominican Republic.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer of the Tampa Division.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.