Mexican Man Sentenced To 210 Months For Sex Trafficking Of Children
RICHMOND, Va. – Javier Flores Mendez, 24, of Tenancingo, Mexico, was sentenced today to 210 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity and sex trafficking of children.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer.
Flores pled guilty on August 15, 2014. According to court documents, the defendant is from Tenancingo, Mexico, a town known for having a widely accepted culture of pimping and prostitution. Every year residents of Tenancingo put on a festival known as “Carnaval,” which celebrates the pimp and prostitute lifestyle. Carnaval festivities include a parade where pimps will lead prostitutes down the street, sometimes in grossly demeaning displays. Tenancingo’s pimps and their associates have for years been responsible for moving prostitutes to other towns and cities in Mexico, as well as locations in the United States. A primary destination in the United States for prostitutes who are being trafficked from Tenancingo is Queens, New York.
In a ten-page statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Flores admitted that in March 2013 he approached a then 15-year-old girl who was working selling roasted corn at a food stand in Puebla, Mexico. After striking up a conversation with her, he bought her a cell phone and programmed his number in it. Over the next several weeks Flores and the girl communicated using that telephone, and later they went on several dates. In May 2013, Flores persuaded the girl to come live with him in Tenancingo, Mexico, which is approximately three hours away by car from Puebla, Mexico. Flores took the girl on a shopping trip to buy her clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry and undergarments. At first he treated the victim well, though he always controlled her movements and activities and did not give her a key for the hotel room. After about a week, however, he began threatening that he would kill her if she did not do what he said or attempted to run away.
In July 2013, Flores planned a trip to illegally enter the United States and travel to New York. Flores admitted to forcing the victim to travel with him by threatening that he would kill her and her family if she did not go. Flores and the girl were apprehended on July 4, 2013, in McAllen, Texas, after wading across the Rio Grande River with the assistance of “coyotes,” who are individuals paid to help smuggle migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.
In September 2013, Flores reestablished contact with the girl. In late October 2013, Flores told the girl that she would have to start working as a prostitute at various bars in and around Tenancingo and Puebla. Flores forced the victim to work as a prostitute every night for a week, during which time she serviced 10 or more men a night and as many as a total of 100. Flores also told the girl that they would again cross the border into the United States and travel to Queens, New York, where she would also work as a prostitute. In or around late October or early November 2013, Flores and the victim successfully crossed the Mexico-U.S. border and for several days stayed in various safe houses in the Houston, Texas, area. On November 2 they departed Houston in a Ford Excursion with nine other illegal aliens traveling to various points in the Northeast United States. In the early morning hours of November 4, 2013, their vehicle was stopped for speeding by a Henrico County police officer on Interstate 64 East near the Staples Mill exit in Richmond. At that time Flores and the minor were put into immigration detention and this investigation followed.
This case was investigated by HSI and the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian R. Hood and Heather L. Hart prosecuted the case.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:14-cr-040