Angel Cortez-Granados, Member Of The Granados-Hernandez Sex Trafficking Organization, Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison
Sex Trafficker From Tenancingo, Mexico, Is The Fifth Granados Family Member Convicted
Earlier today, Angel Cortez-Granados was sentenced in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to 15 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for the sex trafficking of two victims. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay $145,815 in restitution to the two victims. On September 20, 2011, Homeland Security Investigations arrested Cortez-Granados as part of an ongoing investigation into the Granados Sex Trafficking organization. The investigation has resulted in the successful prosecution of five Granados family members including Cortez-Granados’s cousins, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and Samuel Granados-Hernandez.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Sandra L. Townes.
“Angel Cortez-Granados ruthlessly exploited his victims, using threats of violence to force them into a form of sexual slavery. The significant sentence imposed today is an important step in restoring dignity to the defendant’s victims,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “This sentence reflects our ongoing commitment to eradicate the sex trafficking of young girls.” Ms. Lynch thanked the HSI agents who investigated the case and extended her grateful appreciation to the organizations that provided services and advocacy to the victims in this case, including Sanctuary for Families, Polaris Project, and the law firms of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP and Steptoe & Johnson LLP.
On March 2, 2012, Cortez-Granados pled guilty to engaging in sex trafficking between April 2011 and August 2011, by smuggling an individual identified in court filings as Jane Doe 1 from Mexico illegally into the United States and forcing her to engage in prostitution.
According to court filings, Cortez-Granados smuggled 21-year-old Jane Doe 1 and another individual identified as 21-year-old Jane Doe 2 from Mexico into the United States for the purpose of trafficking them as prostitutes. When Jane Doe 1 refused to engage in commercial sex acts, Cortez-Granados placed a knife to her throat and threatened that she would never see her children again. Ultimately, Cortez-Granados forced both Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 to work as prostitutes and provide all of their earnings to him. Jane Doe 1 worked for the defendant in the New York area, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina from 2006 to 2011, and Jane Doe 2 worked for the defendant in North Carolina from April 2010 until September 2011.
At the sentencing proceeding, Jane Doe 2 stated that Cortez-Granados “forced me to prostitute to myself to 100 clients per week to reach a quota of $1,500 dollars.” Jane Doe 2 stated throughout her time with Cortez-Granados, she “felt like a prisoner.” Finally, Jane Doe 2 asked the Court for “justice to be done for myself and my family.”
As set forth in court filings, Cortez-Granados’s cousins, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and Samuel Granados-Hernandez, also smuggled young women from Mexico illegally into the United States, forced them to work as prostitutes in New York City and elsewhere, and collected profits from their activities. Both have pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in a separate case, and each faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Soumya Dayananda.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. CR-11-657 (SLT)