The leader of a human trafficking organization was arrested March 31 in Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, United States authorities announced yesterday.
Paulino Ramírez Granados was on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) list of 10 most wanted human traffickers.
An investigation into the Granados organization began in 2000 when a victim who had been smuggled into the U.S. and forced into prostitution in New York told her story to authorities.
She suffered physical and sexual assaults by a gang member and threats to her children when she indicated she didn’t wish to continue working as a prostitute, said ICE in a press release.
Homeland Security investigators subsequently identified and rescued 25 more victims, all Mexican, and 19 members of the gang, all of whom were associates or members of the Granados family.
According to ICE, family members would befriend or romance young, uneducated women in Mexico and then coerce them into prostitution, following which they would smuggle them into the U.S. and transport them to New York.
Thirteen members of the Granados organization have been indicted on sex trafficking charges. Twelve others have been arrested and one remains a fugitive.
Ramírez Granados has been charged with sex trafficking, alien smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy to import aliens. He had been on the most-wanted list since 2010.
Mexico News Daily