Mexican Citizen Charged with Forcing Young Mexican Women into Sexual Slavery in New York Extradited to U.S
Prosecution Represents One of the Largest Sex Trafficking Cases to Date Brought Under the Provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — 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 of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), today announced that CONSUELO CARRETO VALENCIA, an accused sex trafficker, has been extradited to the United States to face a 27-count indictment charging various crimes related to the trafficking of young women into forced prostitution.1
CARRETO VALENCIA was extradited to the United States from Mexico, together with 14 defendants in other cases, on January 20, 2007, in an unprecedented action by the Mexican government. CARRETO VALENCIA is scheduled to be arraigned later today before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Frederic Block.
CARRETO VALENCIA, her two sons, and three other defendants were indicted in this district on November 16, 2004, on charges of conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor, violations of the Mann Act, and immigration-related offenses. According to the indictment and other documents filed by the government, from 1991 through 2004, CARRETO VALENCIA was one of the leaders of her family’s sex trafficking operation based in San Miguel de Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico. Together with her sons, Josue Flores Carreto and Gerardo Flores Carreto, and other family members, CARRETO VALENCIA operated a network of forced prostitution both in Mexico and New York City. Male members of the Carreto family lured young, uneducated women and girls from impoverished areas of Mexico into romantic relationships and later, through a combination of deception, coercion, threats, and sexual and physical violence, forced the young women to work as prostitutes in Mexico and New York City. As part of this operation, CARRETO VALENCIA detained some of the women, essentially as prisoners, at her home in Tenancingo, Mexico. CARRETO VALENCIA also collected the bulk of the money received from the sex trafficking business in Mexico and in the United States. The Carreto family made hundreds of thousands of dollars in prostitution profits, while the women who had been separated from their families and forced into prostitution, received next to nothing.
With respect to the New York City part of the operation, members of the Carreto family, with the assistance of smugglers known as “coyotes” or “polleros” (chicken herders), smuggled the women from Mexico into the United States, and arranged for their transportation to New York City, where the women were forced to perform acts of prostitution at a rate of $25 to $35 per customer. Of that amount, the owners and managers of the brothels took half, and the other half was taken by the Carreto family trafficker, who had become the woman’s “husband” or boyfriend. These men wired the money back to Mexico, much of it being sent to CARRETO VALENCIA. If the women disobeyed the traffickers -- for example, by refusing to work, failing to earn enough money, or hiding money -- the men beat and threatened the women. More than one young woman who became pregnant while working in New York was forced to have an abortion so that she could continue working as a prostitute.
On April 5, 2005, CARRETO VALENCIA’s sons, Josue and Gerardo Flores Carreto, pled guilty to all 27 counts of the indictment. On April 27, 2006, they were each sentenced to 50-year terms of imprisonment. A third defendant, Daniel Perez Alonso, who also pled guilty, received a 25-year sentence.
The Carreto 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.
“Human traffickers prey on the hopes and dreams of their vulnerable victims, only to lure them into sexual slavery,” stated United States Attorney Mauskopf. “This extradition opens another chapter in our continuing effort to vigorously prosecute those who seek to buy and sell human beings.” Ms. Mauskopf thanked the Mexican government for its assistance in this case.
“Sex trafficking is a heinous crime that ruins lives and robs victims of their dignity,” said Assistant Attorney General Kim. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously seek out and prosecute those who forcibly deny freedom in the freest country in the world.”
“Human trafficking is a crime of the cruelest exploitation. The Carreto criminal organization subjected its victims to physical abuse and prostitution and turned them into virtual slaves,” said Assistant Secretary Myers. “Carreto Valencia’s extradition from Mexico sends a clear message that these crimes will not be tolerated and those who engage in this criminal activity cannot evade prosecution.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Pamela Chen and Monica E. Ryan, and Department of Justice Special Litigation Counsel 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 City 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, officials of the Mexican Prosecutor General of the Republic, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs.
Name: CONSUELO CARRETO VALENCIA
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