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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Member Of The Granados-Hernandez Sex Trafficking Organization, Antonio Lira-Robles, Sentenced To 188 Months In Prison

Mexican Sex Trafficker Sentenced Today In Federal Court

Earlier today, Antonio Lira-Robles was sentenced before Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, to 188 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for the sex trafficking of one victim and restitution in the amount of approximately $1.2 million dollars.

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.

“This defendant is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case, which sought to end the Granados-Herndandez’s long standing family business of preying on young women and luring them to the United States, only to be forced into the violent world of prostitution,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Although no prosecution can remedy the egregious harms that the victims of sex trafficking suffer, we sincerely hope that this prosecution brought some closure to the many victims of the Granados-Hernandez organization.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the organizations that provided services and advocacy to the victims in this case, including Sanctuary for Families and the law firm of Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett, LLP.

On December 19, 2013, Lira-Robles pled guilty to one count of a superseding indictment, which charged that between October 2000 and April 2011, he smuggled a victim from Mexico illegally into the United States and forced her to engage in prostitution. Over approximately ten years, Lira-Robles was a member of the Granados-Hernandez sex trafficking organization (the “Organization”). As part of the trafficking scheme engaged in by the Organization, Lira-Robles and his co-conspirators started romantic relationships with females in Mexico and then lured them to the United States with the false promise of a better life. Each of these victims was transported by a member of the Organization, with the intent that they would engage in prostitution. Once in the United States, the Organization forced victims into prostitution by threats, coercion, and violence. For each of the victims, the Organization kept all of the proceeds from the prostitution.

Lira-Robles was responsible for the sex trafficking of Jane Doe #1 and the recruitment of Jane Doe #4. Lira-Robles conduct towards both of these victims shows the same pattern of criminal conduct and abuse. In 1999, Lira-Robles recruited Jane Doe #1 in Tenancingo, Mexico, soon began a relationship with her and moved her into his parents’ home. Shortly thereafter, Jane Doe #1 became pregnant and Lira-Robles forced her to abort the child. Lira-Robles then forced Jane Doe #1, through threats and physical violence, to begin prostituting in Mexico City. In June 2000, Lira-Robles and Jane Doe #1 travelled to Queens, New York. Upon their arrival, Jane Doe #1 stated that she did not want to work as a prostitute to which Lira-Robles responded by physically assaulting her. As a result of the defendant’s violence towards her, Jane Doe #1 worked for Lira-Robles in New York and Boston from 2001 to 2010 and gave all the prostitution proceeds to him.

During the same time period as his involvement with Jane Doe #1, Lira-Robles recruited Jane Doe #4. Similar to his relationship with Jane Doe #1, Lira-Robles began a romantic relationship with Jane Doe #4 and suggested they travel to the United States. Upon their arrival to here, Lira-Robles told Jane Doe #4 that in order to pay off the smuggling debt she had to work as a prostitute. Jane Doe #4 worked for Lira-Robles from approximately 2004 until 2010.

At the sentencing, Jane Doe #1 stated that, “I was a victim of sex trafficking and forced into prostitution because of Antonio [Lira Robles].” Jane Doe #1 described in detail the extreme abuse she suffered under the control of Lira-Robles, stating that “He did not treat me like a human being. He treated me like a sexual robot.” Jane Doe #1 further stated: “For years I cried in silence. I carried the scars of Antonio’s abuse every day, but I can no longer be silent. I am here today so Antonio and his family will no longer be able to force another woman into prostitution.”

Lira-Robles’ cousins, Samuel Granados-Hernandez, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and Angel Cortez-Granados, 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. Each of the three defendants pleaded guilty to sex trafficking. In September 2013, Cortez-Granados was sentenced to 15 years in prison, in a separate case. In March 2014, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the sex trafficking of five victims. In May 2014, Samuel Granados was sentenced to 15 years for the sex trafficking of three victims.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Soumya Dayananda.

The Defendant:


Age: 38


E.D.N.Y. Docket No. CR-11-297 (S-5) (KAM)

Updated July 2, 2015