News and Press Releases

Members of a Mexican Sex Trafficking Ring Plead to Guilty to Forcing Women and a Minor into Prostitution

August 1, 2012

Four members of a Mexican sex trafficking ring have pleaded guilty to federal charges relating to the sex trafficking of numerous women and one minor between October 2000 and August 2011. Two of the defendants, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and Samuel Granados-Hernandez, who are brothers, pled guilty to sex trafficking. Two other defendants, Irma Rodriguez-Yanez and Lilia Ramirez-Granados, pled guilty to sex trafficking conspiracy. All four guilty pleas were entered before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. The final plea, that of Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez, occurred earlier today.

The guilty pleas were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). When sentenced, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and Samuel Granados-Hernandez face minimum mandatory sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment and maximum sentences of life imprisonment. Irma Rodriguez-Yanez and Lilia Ramirez-Granados face maximum sentences of life imprisonment.

At today’s proceeding, Eleuterio Granados Hernandez admitted to bringing women from Mexico to New York between 2000 and April 2011, and forcing them, using threats and violence, to work as prostitutes in Queens, New York and elsewhere. Eleuterio Granados Hernandez also admitted that he obtained money from the prostitution that his victims were forced to perform.

In an earlier plea proceeding, Samuel Granados-Hernandez, who is the domestic partner of, and has children with, co-defendant Irma Rodriguez-Yanez, admitted to seducing a woman in Mexico, smuggling her into the United States and thereafter using false promises of love to convince her to work in prostitution. Samuel Granados-Hernandez also admitted that he told the victim that Rodriguez-Yanez, with whom Samuel Granados-Hernandez and the victim lived in New York, was his sister-in-law, and not his domestic partner. Samuel Granados-Hernandez stated that he was guilty of trafficking two victims in this manner.

During her guilty plea proceeding, Rodriguez-Yanez admitted that she went along with Samuel Granados-Hernandez’s deception of a victim who believed that Rodriguez-Yanez was Samuel Granados-Hernandez’s sister-in-law, and then assisted the sex trafficking conspiracy by providing telephone numbers to the victim for drivers who transported the victim to prostitution locations. Throughout the plea proceeding, Rodriguez-Yanez referred to Samuel Granados-Hernandez as her husband.

At her plea proceeding, Lilia Ramirez-Granados admitted that she took women, whom she knew were being forced through threats and violence to work in prostitution by her cousins and co-defendants Eleuterio and Samuel Granados-Hernandez, to prostitution locations and that she told these women “what they had to do.” Lilia Ramirez-Granados also stated that the victims’ prostitution earnings were turned over to Eleuterio and Samuel Granados-Hernandez.

“Through this prosecution, we have dismantled an extensive Mexican sex trafficking operation that has preyed upon countless young women for many years, forcing them into sexual slavery for the defendants’ own profit and gain,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “These guilty pleas signify the closing of a terrible chapter in the history of the Granados family criminal enterprise.”

“For these defendants, sex trafficking was the family business. They took advantage of the hopes and dreams of countless young women, robbing them of their freedom and dignity,” said HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Hayes. “These guilty pleas are victories in the battle against human trafficking. HSI is intent on disrupting human trafficking syndicates no matter where in the world they operate.”

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Pamela Chen and Soumya Dayananda.

The Defendants:

Age: 31

Age: 33

Age: 32

Age: 31


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