Three New Jersey Residents Charged With Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
NEWARK, N.J. – Three New Jersey residents have been charged by complaint for their roles in a sex trafficking conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey and Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division announced today.
Jean Noriega, 48, Enna Gonzalez, 53, and John Oyola, 32, all of Paterson, New Jersey, were each charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The three defendants conspired to coerce multiple women to engage in commercial sex in New Jersey and New York. Noriega used violence, threats of violence, threats of drug withdrawal, and other means, to compel the victims to engage in commercial sex for his profit, including after his incarceration in New York in 2017. Oyola and Gonzalez helped Noriega control the victims through various means, collect the proceeds, and otherwise carry out his sex trafficking activities while Noriega was incarcerated.
Noriega, who is incarcerated in New York on a previous conviction, made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks in Syracuse federal court in the Northern District of New York. Oyola made his initial appearance Aug. 7, 2019, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court. Gonzalez appeared before Judge Mannion on Aug. 5, 2019.
The count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and mandatory restitution.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Human Trafficking Unit, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Office of Special Investigations, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sophie Reiter of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and Trial Attorney Kate Hill for the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted.