FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
DECEMBER 5, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GAITHERSBURG MAN SENTENCED FOR TRANSPORTING PROSTITUTES FROM
NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY TO MARYLAND
GREENBELT, Maryland - United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announces that today U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Jonathan Lopez-Cruz, age 31 of Gaithersburg, Maryland to 27 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release for transporting individuals in interstate commerce with the intent that such individuals engage in prostitution and sexual activity. Lopez-Cruz is the husband of Elsy Y. Aparicio, who, along with six other defendants, was recently indicted on charges of conspiring to transport individuals in interstate commerce with the intent that such individuals engage in prostitution. Aparicio and her co-defendants are awaiting trial.
According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea on September 9, 2005, on May 8, 2005, Lopez-Cruz, drove a white Chevrolet van from Maryland to the vicinity of New York City and New Jersey. On the morning of May 9, 2005, Lopez-Cruz drove the white van to various locations in New York and New Jersey, including Manhattan and Queens, NY and Union City, NJ to pick up women whom he knew intended to work as prostitutes in Maryland. Lopez-Cruz picked up several women in New York and then traveled into New Jersey, where he picked up additional women to transport to Maryland. At approximately 6:30 a.m. on May 9, 2005, the van, driven by Lopez-Cruz was stopped by New Jersey State Police off of Interstate 95 near Union City, New Jersey. Inside the van were eleven females who were being transported to Maryland to work as prostitutes.
After his arrest, Lopez-Cruz admitted that he was transporting the women from various locations in New York and New Jersey, with a destination of Langley Park, Maryland. Lopez-Cruz acknowledged that the females were being transported to Maryland to work in places of prostitution. Lopez-Cruz also admitted that he charged each woman $50 for one-way transportation to Langley Park, Maryland, and that the women contacted him by cellular telephone the day before the trip to arrange a pick-up location. Lopez-Cruz also admitted that, on occasion, he transported women from Maryland back to New York and New Jersey.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Montgomery County Police Department; and the New Jersey State Police for their investigative work performed in this case. Mr. Rosenstein also praised Assistant United States Attorneys Chan Park and Mythili Raman for prosecuting the case.
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