News and Press Releases

Maryland Man Sentenced to 36 Months for Transporting Women for Interstate Prostitution Ring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Marcos Sanchez Hernandez, also known as “Marquito,” 37, an illegal alien from Mexico who lived in Riverdale, Md., was sentenced today to 36 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for transporting more than 100 women from other states to engage in commercial sex in Virginia.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, Attorney General of Virginia; and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., made the announcement sentencing by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

            “For years, Sanchez Hernandez ran a sex trafficking ring that reached into our communities here in Virginia and out to our neighboring states,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Today, he learned what we hope other sex traffickers are rapidly discovering – sex trafficking is not a viable business enterprise in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and those who engage in it will face lengthy prison time when caught.”

            “Sanchez Hernandez profited for years from his multi-state sex trafficking ring,” said HSI SAC Torres. “HSI DC does not tolerate the exploitation of others and is committed to bringing to justice those who are involved in the sex trafficking industry.”

            Sanchez Hernandez pled guilty on Oct. 15, 2012, to conspiracy to transport women to engage in prostitution. According to court records, from 2005 through July 2012 Sanchez Hernandez was part of a network that transported women to engage in commercial sex acts in Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and various locations in Virginia, including Fairfax County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.  He admitted to transporting more than 100 women and selling their bodies in 10- to 15-minute increments for $30.

            In 2010, Sanchez Hernandez took over leadership of the enterprise and trained an employee where to drive the prostitutes, how to collect proceeds, and how to avoid law enforcement. He advertised the prostitution business by handing out business cards at Spanish restaurants, check cashing stores, construction sites and day laborer sites. Eventually, the proceeds of the operation were sent to the enterprise’s former leader in Mexico.

            This case was investigated by the Transnational Gang Unit of Homeland Security Investigations, which participates in the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.  Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum and Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Frank are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. From FY2011 to the present, 46 defendants have been prosecuted in 27 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct involving at least 32 victims.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

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