Colombian Sex Trafficking Ring Busted in South Bay, 18 Victims Rescued

Colombian Sex Trafficking Ring Busted in South Bay, 18 Victims Rescued

A joint operation by law enforcement agencies has resulted in the rescue of 18 victims from a Colombian-based sex trafficking ring operating brothels at hotels in the South Bay area of Santa Clara County, California. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that nine individuals suspected of working for the syndicate have been arrested. During the operation, officers seized over $200,000 in cash from the suspects and froze their assets, including cryptocurrency.

The investigation into the sex trafficking ring began in March 2022 when authorities became suspicious of the activities of a Colombian couple who were previously charged with human trafficking-related crimes but were out on bail. Through wiretapping, investigators analyzed approximately 30,000 text messages and calls to a dispatch number. Evidence revealed that the number was being used to arrange “dates” between sex workers and customers. The traffickers had set up a bank of these dispatch phones for customers to schedule sex dates with victims at local hotels.

The sex trafficking victims, who originated from South America and Mexico, were forced to work seven days a week in hotel rooms in San Jose and other cities in the East Bay Area. Prosecutors stated that the victims were not allowed to leave the hotel rooms without permission, were constantly monitored, and faced threats that their families would be harmed if they disobeyed or attempted to escape. The wiretap investigation indicated that the syndicate was exploiting more than 30 victims, with six additional suspects still at large.

The rescued women are now receiving support services, including counseling, medical care, and housing assistance. One of the victims, a teenager from South America, has been taken to the District Attorney’s Office’s Children’s Advocacy Center for care.


Author: CrimeDoor

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