U.S.-Mexico Human Trafficking Ring Busted With Seven Men Facing Life Sentences

U.S. Mexico Sex Trafficking Ring Busted With Seven Men Facing Life Sentences
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A sex trafficking ring that exploited minors along the U.S.-Mexico border has been disrupted with the arrest and indictment of seven men authorities say are responsible for abduction and enslavement.

READ: 13 Sex Trafficking Survivors Rescued in Costa Rica

The gang authorities are referring to as STO, or "The Traffickers," are facing life sentences in federal court in New York on charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. This investigation lasted from 2000 to 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office

The women, mostly minors, were lured away from their families by men who appeared to be seeking romantic propositions, but were then kidnapped and subject to rape. The men who were arrested in Mexico by authorities last week were identified as Efraín Granados Corona, 41, Alan Romero Granados, 24, and brothers Pedro Rojas Romero, 37, and Emilio Rojas Romero, 34. Raúl Romero Granados, 32, and Isaac Lomeli, 34, were arrested in the U.S. The seventh man, Juan Romero Granados, remains on the run. 

Authorities say the women were forced to service as many as 20 to 40 customers a day, with all of the money going to the men. Traveling from Mexico to the U.S., they were continually abused and coerced into sex work for fear of abuse. They were either dropped off in brothels or "delivered" to a customer's home by a driver in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia or Delaware.

"Human trafficking is a corrosive and degrading practice that goes against both the rule of law and the most basic standards of human dignity," U.S.. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "I want to commend our partners in Mexican law enforcement for their commitment to combating human trafficking. We thank them for their cooperation in this important action, and for their ongoing collaboration in our shared efforts to end human trafficking in our nations."

PLUS: The Horrifying Ways Sex Traffickers Lure Young Latinas

The Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit has been collaborating with Mexican law enforcement since 2009, working toward dismantling human trafficking networks operating across the border.

(h/t Fox News Latino)