Sex Trafficking Was Family Biz

Brothers, Couple Plead Guilty To Running Ring

Four members of a Mexican sex trafficking ring have pleaded guilty to federal charges relating to the sex trafficking of several women-including one minor-into Queens between 2000 and 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Two of the defendants, 31-yearold Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez and 33-year-old Samuel Granados- Hernandez, pled guilty to sex trafficking. Irma Rodriguez-Yanez and Lilia Ramirez-Granados also pled guilty to a sex trafficking conspiracy.

All four guilty pleas were entered before U.S District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn.

The guilty pleas were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent in charge of the New York field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

When sentenced, Eleuterio and Samuel Granados-Hernandez each face 15 years to life in prison, while Irma Rodriguez-Yanez and Lilia Ramirez-Granados each face maximum sentences of life imprisonment.

At the proceeding, Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez admitted to bringing women from Mexico to New York between 2000 and April 2011, and forcing them, using threats and violence, to work as prostitutes in Queens and other areas of New York. Eleuterio Granados-Hernandez also admitted that he obtained money from the prostitution that his victims were forced to perform.

In an earlier plea proceeding, Samuel Granados-Hernandez (Eleuterio’s brother and the domestic partner of Irma Rodriguez-Yanez), admitted to seducing a woman in Mexico, smuggling her into the U.S. and thereafter using false promises of love to convince her to work in prostitution.

Samuel Granados-Hernandez also admitted that he told the victim that Rodriguez-Yanez, with whom Samuel Granados-Hernandez and the victim lived in New York, was his sister-in-law and not his domestic partner. Samuel Granados-Hernandez stated that he was guilty of trafficking two victims in this manner.

During her guilty plea proceeding, Rodriguez-Yanez admitted that she went along with Samuel Granados Hernandez’s deception of a victim who believed that Rodriguez-Yanez was Samuel Granados Hernandez’s sister-in-law, and then assisted the sex trafficking conspiracy by providing telephone numbers to the victim for drivers who transported the victim to prostitution locations. Throughout the plea proceeding, Rodriguez-Yanez referred to Samuel Granados-Hernandez as her husband.

At her plea proceeding, Lilia Ramirez-Granados admitted that she took women, whom she knew were being forced through threats and violence to work in prostitution by her cousins and co-defendants Eleuterio and Samuel Granados-Hernandez, to prostitution locations and that she told these women “what they had to do.” Lilia Ramirez-Granados also stated that the victims’ prostitution earnings were turned over to Eleuterio and Samuel Granados-Hernandez.

“Through this prosecution, we have dismantled an extensive Mexican sex trafficking operation that has preyed upon countless young women for many years, forcing them into sexual slavery for the defendants’ own profit and gain,” said Lynch. “These guilty pleas signify the closing of a terrible chapter in the history of the Granados family criminal enterprise.”

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S.Attorneys Pamela Chen and Soumya Dayananda.

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