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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Bronx Couple Admit Sex Trafficking Of Minor

TRENTON, N.J. – A Bronx, New York, man and woman today admitted their roles in a month-long scheme to advertise and provide a minor for sexual acts for money, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Richard Ortiz, 23, a/k/a “Ace,” and Gabriella Colon, 19, both of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to informations charging them with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2018 through February 2018, Ortiz and Colon recruited, enticed, and advertised Victim-1, knowing that Victim-1 was less than 18 years old and would be caused to engage in one or more commercial sex acts. Colon and Ortiz acknowledged having transported Victim-1 from New York into New Jersey and Colon admitted to photographing Victim-1 in various states of undress and posting the photographs on a website advertising Victim-1 for sexual services. Colon and Ortiz admitted collecting money from numerous individuals who paid to have sexual relations with Victim-1.

The count to which Ortiz and Colon pleaded guilty carries a maximum term of life imprisonment. Sentencing for Colon is scheduled for May 13, 2019, and for Ortiz, May 14, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; and detectives with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Andrew Carey, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas. He also thanked the East Brunswick and Fort Lee, New Jersey, police departments for their assistance.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force/Narcotics Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel:
Ortiz: Olubukola Adetula Esq., Irvington, New Jersey
Colon: Candace Hom Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-019
Updated February 7, 2019