News and Press Releases

Three Defendants Plead Guilty to Charges Involving Forcing Young Mexican Women into Sexual Slavery in New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 05, 2005

Prosecution Represents One of the Government's Largest Sex Trafficking Cases to Date Brought Under the Provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act

ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, announced the guilty pleas today of JOSUE FLORES CARRETO, GERARDO FLORES CARRETO, and DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO to all 27 counts of an indictment charging them with forcing young Mexican women into prostitution in brothels throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Queens and Brooklyn, between 1991 and 2004. The guilty pleas were accepted by United States District Judge Frederic Block, at the U. S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, just prior to the commencement of the defendants' trial. The defendants, all Mexican nationals, are members of the Carreto family sex trafficking ring that operated between Tenancingo, Mexico, and Queens, New York.

The prosecution, including previously entered guilty pleas by three co-defendants and the indictment of two additional co-defendants presently incarcerated in Mexico, represents one of the government's largest sex trafficking cases to date brought under provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The Act was passed by Congress in 2000 to combat forms of coercion, such as psychological manipulation and intimidation, which traffickers use to hold victims in conditions of servitude. The case was brought as part of the Justice Department's human trafficking initiative, which is one of its highest priorities.

During the plea allocutions this morning, the defendants JOSUE FLORES CARRETO, GERALDO FLORES CARRETO, and DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO, acknowledged that they recruited young, uneducated Mexican women from impoverished backgrounds, smuggled them from Mexico to the United States, and forced them to engage in prostitution. All three defendants admitted to physically assaulting their victims on multiple occasions and causing serious bodily injuries to them. They also admitted to using threats of serious harm and physical restraint against the young Mexican women to force them to commit acts of prostitution, and beating them for hiding money, disobeying their orders, and failing to earn more money. The victims were forced to perform acts of prostitution at a rate of $25 to $35 per "John." Of that amount, the owners and managers of the brothels took half, and the other half was taken by the defendants and other members of the Carreto criminal organization.

The co-defendants, whose previously entered guilty pleas are also being announced today, ELOY CARRETO REYES, ELIU CARRETO FERNANDEZ and EDITH MOSQUERA de FLORES, are either members or associates of the Carreto ring. CARRETO REYES and CARRETO FERNANDEZ each pled guilty to one count of sex trafficking relating to transporting a young Mexican woman to the United States and forcing her into prostitution. In separate proceedings before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak, CARRETO REYES pled guilty on November 16, 2004, and CARRETO FERNANDEZ pled guilty on December 22, 2004. MOSQUERA De FLORES, the owner and operator of one of the brothels where the young victims were forced to commit acts of prostitution, pled guilty on November 12, 2004, before Judge Block to conspiring with JOSUE FLORES CARRETO, GERARDO FLORES CARRETO, DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO and others to force young Mexican women into prostitution in New York. According to her guilty plea, MOSQUERA de FLORES benefitted financially from the forced acts of prostitution.

As alleged in publicly-filed documents, each of the male defendants was involved in some form of personal relationship with a victim. Some were married to the young women they forced into prostitution.

Two additional co-defendants, CONSUELO CARRETO VALENCIA - who is the mother of JOSUE FLORES CARRETO and GERARDO FLORES CARRETO - and MARIA de los ANGELES VELASQUEZ REYES, have been indicted on charges of conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor, violations of the Mann Act and immigration-related offenses. They are presently incarcerated in Mexico on Mexican federal charges related to their role in the Carreto human trafficking conspiracy, and the United States intends to file extradition requests for these defendants.

This case came to the attention of federal authorities during the summer of 2003 when a complaint was made at the United States Embassy in Mexico City that members of the Carreto family were forcing young Mexican women into prostitution in New York. Federal agents from the New York and New Jersey offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, working together with officers from the New York City Police Department, raided two apartments in Corona, Queens, on January 4, 2004, and found JOSUE FLORES CARRETO, GERARDO FLORES CARRETO, DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO, ELIU CARRETO FERNANDEZ, and five young Mexican women. Based upon additional evidence uncovered during the investigation, federal agents and police detectives subsequently arrested ELOY CARRETO REYES and EDITH MOSQUERA de FLORES.

"America remains the land of opportunity for millions of immigrants who hope to realize their dreams of freedom and prosperity," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "These defendants used the American dream to entice their victims, all women or girls, promising them a better life. Instead, the victims were subjected to serious physical abuse and forced into prostitution. The convictions announced today show that prostitution is not a victimless crime and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks profit through human trafficking and exploitation."

"The trafficking of humans stains the face of free nations. The depraved and horrific circumstances that these young women endured is nothing less than modern-day sex slavery," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights ACOSTA. "The use of violence or any other means to coerce commercial sex acts will not be tolerated. The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously investigating, prosecuting and punishing anyone involved in human trafficking abuses. Traffickers will find no succor, no recourse, and no safe harbor in the United States."

Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement GARCIA stated, "This case is an example of the violence and abuse inherent in human trafficking. Young, Mexican women were terribly exploited by this ruthless trafficking organization. ICE is working to identify and dismantle criminal groups like these that exploit our borders and their victims."

JOSUE FLORES CARRETO, GERARDO FLORES CARRETO, and DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO each faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each count. Under the U. S. Sentencing Guidelines, the government estimates that JOSUE FLORES CARRETO and GERARDO FLORES CARRETO face between 27 and 33 years' imprisonment, and DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO faces between 25 to 30 years' imprisonment.

The government's case was prosecuted by Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Special Litigation Counsel Anne Milgram, and Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel R. Alonso, Pamela Chen, and Monica E. Ryan.

The case was investigated by Special Agents from the New York Office of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Additional assistance was provided by Special Agents from the New Jersey and Mexico City offices of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New York Police Department, the G-TIP office at the U.S. Department of State, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico and officials of the Mexican Prosecutor General of the Republic.

The Defendants:

Name: Josue Flores Carreto
DOB: 3/17/68
Residence: MDC Brooklyn, New York

Name: Gerardo Flores Carreto
DOB: 7/19/71
Residence: MDC Brooklyn, New York

Name: Daniel Perez Alonso
DOB: 5/15/79
Residence: MDC Brooklyn, New York

Name: Eloy Carreto Reyes
DOB: 12/4/80

Name: Eliu Carreto Fernandez
DOB: 8/4/68
Residence: MDC Brooklyn, New York

Name: Edith Mosquera de Flores
DOB: 11-11-53


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