News and Press Releases

Three Defendants Sentenced for Forcingyoung Mexican Women into Sexual Slavery in New York

April 27, 2006

Prosecution Represents One of the Largest Sex Trafficking Cases to Date Brought under the Provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act

JOSUE FLORES CARRETO, GERARDO FLORES CARRETO, and DANIEL PEREZ ALONSO, members of the Carreto family sex trafficking ring that operated between Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, and Queens, New York, were sentenced to 50, 50, and 25 years imprisonment, respectively, for multiple offenses related to forcing young Mexican women into prostitution in brothels throughout the New York City metropolitan area between 1991 and 2004. The government is also seeking restitution. The sentencing proceeding was held today before United States District Judge Frederic Block at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

 The sentences were announced by Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, and Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security The prosecution represents one of the largest sex trafficking cases to date brought under the provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The Act was passed by Congress in 2000 to combat violence, threats, fraud, and coercion, such as psychological manipulation and intimidation, which traffickers use to hold victims in conditions of servitude. The case is part of the Justice Department’s human trafficking initiative, which is one of its highest priorities.

Each defendant pled guilty on April 5, 2005, to a 27-count indictment charging various crimes related to the trafficking of young women into forced prostitution. During the plea allocutions, the defendants 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. The defendants admitted to physically assaulting their victims and causing serious bodily injuries to them. They also admitted to using threats of physical harm and restraint to force the women 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. Each of the male defendants was involved in some form of personal relationship with a victim – some were actually married to the young women they forced into prostitution.

Two co-defendants who pled guilty to participating in this scheme are scheduled to be sentenced next month. One co-defendant was sentenced in February to 27 months imprisonment for benefitting financially from the scheme. 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 in this district on charges of conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor, violations of the Mann Act, and immigration-related offenses. They are presently in Mexico, and the United States is seeking their extradition.

“Human traffickers are some of the most reprehensible criminals in our society,” said Attorney General ALBERTO GONZALES. “There is no place in our compassionate Nation for these peddlers of false promises. The Justice Department will continue to prosecute vigorously those who buy and sell human beings as domestic servants, sex slaves, and indentured laborers.”

“The defendants preyed on the dreams of their young victims for a better life to lure them into conditions of physical abuse and forced prostitution,” stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. “Prostitution is not a victimless crime. We will aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks profit through human trafficking and exploitation.”

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights KIM stated, “Placing financial gain over human dignity, these defendants engaged in one of the most extensive and egregious trafficking rings ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. Today’s sentencing shows our commitment to prosecuting those who engage in this form of modern-day slavery. We must be vigilant in making certain the traffickers, and not the victims, pay for the crimes.”

Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, MYERS stated, “Human trafficking is a crime of exploitation; the traffickers are motivated by pure greed. These criminals subjected their victims to physical abuse and prostitution and turned them into virtual slaves. ICE is committed to identifying and bringing to prosecution those who engage in and profit from this depraved exploitation. Today’s sentences send a clear message that these crimes will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Pamela Chen and Monica E. Ryan, Special Assistant United States Attorney Anne Milgram, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Hilary Axam.

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, the International Office of Migration, and officials of the Mexican Prosecutor General of the Republic.

The Defendants:

Name: Josue Flores Carreto
DOB: 3/17/68

Name: Gerardo Flores Carreto
DOB: 7/19/71

Name: Daniel Perez Alonso
DOB: 5/15/79

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