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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 1, 2017

Bronx Defendant Found Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court Of Sex Trafficking Offenses

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a federal jury today found MARIA SOLY ALMONTE, a/k/a “Soly Almonte,” a/k/a “Soly La Fuerte,” a/k/a “SoSo,” a/k/a “SoSo Wavy,” a/k/a “Soly Montana,” guilty of sex trafficking of minors, sex trafficking conspiracy, and use of interstate commerce to promote illegal activity.  ALMONTE was convicted following a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood.     

 

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As a jury unanimously found, Maria Soly Almonte was the ringleader of a sex trafficking conspiracy that exploited children as young as 13.  Her predatory conduct shocks the conscience.  Protecting children is one of our most important missions, and I thank the FBI and the NYPD for their outstanding work to that end.  Almonte now awaits sentencing for her heinous crimes.”

 

According to allegations contained in the Complaint, Indictment, and evidence presented during the trial in Manhattan federal court:

 

Since at least 2015, MARIA SOLY ALMONTE operated a brothel in New York City, which trafficked minors as young as 13 years old.  The brothel operated at various locations throughout New York, including apartments in the Bronx and Harlem.

 

ALMONTE served as the brothel’s proprietor.  The brothel’s sex workers were required to pay ALMONTE a fee for prostitution services they rendered at the brothel.  The brothel advertised its services on the internet and communicated with clients by telephone.  During the time period of the conspiracy, at least six minors provided prostitution services at one or more of the brothel’s locations. 

 

 

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ALMONTE, 33, was convicted of one count of conspiring to commit sex trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; one count of sex trafficking a minor under the age of 14, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison; one count of sex trafficking a minor under the age of 18, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison; one count of using facilities of interstate commerce to promote illegal activity, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiring to use facilities of interstate commerce to promote illegal activity, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

 

Mr. Kim thanked the FBI and NYPD for their outstanding investigative work in this matter.

 

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Stephanie Lake and Alison Moe are in charge of the prosecution.

                

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
14-386
Updated December 1, 2017