December 24, 2008

Illegal Mexican alien awaits sentence in sex trafficking

Posted by D.A. King at 4:33 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Illegal Mexican alien awaits sentence in sex trafficking


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Norcross man is awaiting federal sentencing β€” at least 15 years in prison β€” for his participation in a sex trafficking ring involving young Mexican women.

Francisco Cortes-Meza, 25, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, pleaded guilty last week to sex trafficking after forcing a 22-year-old woman, also an illegal immigrant, to work as a prostitute from a home in Norcross, according to immigration agents and a statement from David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. The sex trafficking offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

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Cortes-Meza met the young woman in Mexico last year and began a relationship with her, according to Nahmias. He then persuaded her to come to the United States, telling her she would work in a restaurant. He also smuggled her here, according to the statement from Nahmias.

Cortes-Meza’s case is part of a larger indictment handed up in July involving a brother of Cortes-Meza and two other relatives β€” all illegal immigrants from Mexico β€” as well as a man from Uruguay, who is a legal permanent resident of the United States. The five men were indicted on sex trafficking charges involving at least 10 victims, ranging in age from 14 to 28 years old, authorities said.

The women were frequently required to have sex with 20 to 30 men per night at a charge of $25, according to Nahmias. The majority of the prostitution was conducted in Norcross, but the Uruguayan man also ran an operation in Cartersville, said Brock Nicholson, Deputy Special Agent in charge of the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

All of the victims were illegal immigrants, Nicholson said.

The four remaining defendants are in federal custody awaiting trial.

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