Fourth defendant convicted in Mexican sex trafficking ring - CBS46 News

Fourth defendant convicted in Mexican sex trafficking ring

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Severiano Martinez-Rojas, of Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of sex trafficking and admitted his participation in the sex trafficking of three victims.    

“This defendant’s guilty plea represents another success in this District’s sustained commitment to bilateral anti-trafficking coordination with our Mexican Federal law enforcement counterparts in locating and bringing to justice traffickers who lure victims into prostitution with false promises of a better life and then seek to evade accountability for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn.  “Human trafficking remains a top priority of this office, and we will continue to aggressively target and prosecute these horrific crimes.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, Martinez-Rojas and his co-defendants began their low-cost sex trafficking business in 2006. Fake promises of love, legitimate work and a better life were used to lure three women into the United States unlawfully. Upon arriving in Atlanta, these women were violently sold into prostitution and were forced to have sexual relations with nearly twenty men a night. 

“Human trafficking is quite simply, a form of modern-day slavery, and the sexual abuse of the victims in this particular case only adds to the heinous nature of the crime,” said Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Nick Annan. “Over the past two years HSI has rescued nearly 1,000 trafficking victims nationwide with many of them often hidden in plain sight. HSI will continue our relentless pursuit to investigate and seek prosecution of criminal traffickers while ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need.” 

In May 2014 Martinez-Rojas was indicted but remained a fugitive until his arrest in Mexico as part of a coordinated bilateral law enforcement action in November 2015.

His co-defendants Arturo Rojas-Coyotl and Odilon Martinez-Rojas were arrested in October 2014. Rojas-Coyotl is serving sixteen years in federal prison for sex trafficking and Odilon is serving twenty-one years for sex trafficking and alien harboring. Both men were also ordered to pay $180,000 in restitution to victims

For the past for the past eight year, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have collaborated with Mexican law enforcement counterparts in a Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative to more effectively dismantle human trafficking networks operating across the U.S.-Mexico border, bring human traffickers to justice, restore the rights and dignity of human trafficking victims, and reunite victims with their children.  

A sentencing date for Severiano Martinez-Rojas has not been set as the case is still being investigated.Martinez is the fourth defendant to be taken into custody for the crimes. 

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