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Press Release

Member Of A Mexican Sex Trafficking Ring Pleads Guilty To Forcing Woman Into Prostitution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

A member of a Mexican sex trafficking organization, Paulino Ramirez-Granados, has pleaded guilty to federal charges relating to the sex trafficking of a woman from October 2000 to December 2008.  The guilty plea was entered before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn.  When sentenced, Ramirez-Granados faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The guilty plea was announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Angel Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  In announcing the guilty plea, Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to HSI, the agency responsible for leading the government’s investigation. 

At today’s proceeding,  Ramirez-Granados admitted to bringing a woman from Mexico to New York between October 2000 and December 2008, and forcing her, using threats and violence, to work as a prostitute in Queens, New York, and elsewhere.  Ramirez-Granados also admitted that he obtained money from the prostitution that his victim was forced to perform.  Pursuant to his plea agreement with the government, Ramirez-Granados also admitted to trafficking an additional victim and agreed to pay restitution to both victims.

As set forth in court filings, between October 1998 and June 2011, members of the Granados sex trafficking organization, including Ramirez-Granados, illegally smuggled young women into the United States, where they were forced to work as prostitutes in New York City and elsewhere.  The organization collected profits from the victims’ activities.  When victims refused to work or resisted, members of the organization beat and sexually assaulted the victims, and threatened the victims’ family members in Mexico, including the victims’ children.

To date, 13 members of the Granados organization have been indicted in the Eastern District of New York on sex trafficking charges.  Twelve have been arrested, and one remains a fugitive.  Two high-ranking members of the group, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and Samuel Granados-Hernandez, who are brothers, pled guilty to sex trafficking and were sentenced by Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto in 2014 to 22 years and 15 years, respectively.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement identified and rescued over 20 additional victims — all Mexican nationals.  Several victims were sexually assaulted by their traffickers, while others were physically assaulted.  All the victims said the traffickers threatened to harm their family members.

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

The Defendant:

Age: 38

E.D.N.Y. United States v. Paulino Ramirez-Granados, 11-CR-557 (KAM)

Updated June 6, 2016

Human Trafficking