In Florida, eight women were rescued by law enforcement last week after being forced into sex trafficking to pay off their smuggling debts.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the smuggling and sex trafficking operation.
One man, Amet Maqueira De La Cal, smuggled the eight women into the United States from Cuba, according to information provided by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office.
“Maqueira De La Cal, through threats of violence, then forced the women into sex trafficking and working in adult entertainment clubs to pay off the debts incurred through the transport into the U.S.,” states a press release from Moody’s office.
“The traffickers told the victims they owed $60,000 each, withheld the women’s IDs and other documents, and forced the victims to live in close quarters under the traffickers’ control.”
The investigation was undertaken by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after one of the women called its human trafficking hotline.
The women were separated between two apartments and were required to pay for food and rent, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives also learned that some of the victims were featured in advertisements on online escort sites.
A stolen firearm was recovered at one of the apartments, along with cash and different forms of identification.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said he feared the women were in mortal danger.
“These suspects did not care about anything else than making money off innocent lives, who were forced into deplorable living and working conditions,” Chronister said in a press release.
Maqueira De La Cal, 35, and the second suspect, Rosalia Leonard Garcia, 29, are both facing 47 counts, including human trafficking and false imprisonment charges. The two will be prosecuted by Moody’s office.
The rescued women are receiving counseling and other resources, according to Moody’s office.
“These horrific acts of sex trafficking are among the most depraved crimes we have seen in a long time and highlight how criminals are taking advantage of Biden’s open border to advance their illicit trade,” Moody said in the release.
Roy Boyd, sheriff for Texas’s Goliad County, said the illegal immigrant crisis is feeding a new slave class in the United States.
“I actually have a letter from a sex slave house out of Rockport [Texas] from a search warrant I ran some years ago that articulates it,” Boyd told The Epoch Times in a previous interview. “It takes eight to 13 years to buy your freedom once you come into the United States.”
In Texas, Houston is the first major destination for many illegal aliens once they get across the border.
“Once they get to Houston, where they think they’re going to be shipped out to their families, they’re not,” Boyd said. “In reality, what happens is once they get to Houston, they’re then told that they owe another $5,000, $10,000, depending on where they’re from and how much money is invested in them. And they have to work that debt off.”
Working off the debt can involve anything from hospitality work, landscaping, and factory work to forced prostitution and drug trafficking, he said.
National Human Trafficking Hotline
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Report suspected human trafficking to federal law enforcement
From The Epoch Times