Authorities have busted and charged a group of illegal immigrants who ran an interstate sex trafficking and brothel operation. The second-in-command was sentenced Tuesday night to almost 20 years in prison, according to a release from Department of Justice.
Kevin Garcia Fuertes, 26, was given 235 months in prison plus five years of supervised release for his role as a manager of brothels in Annapolis and Easton, by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr.
Fuertes managed and advertised for the two brothels while overseeing a network of interstate sex trafficking, according to evidence presented over the two-week trial.
At the conclusion of his sentence, Fuertes will also be deported back to Honduras.
"[Tuesday’s] sentencing represents another successful [Homeland Security Investigations] investigation worked jointly with our local law enforcement partners that led to the breakup of a prostitution scheme uncovered in Maryland," said HSI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William Winter, in a release. "The defendants not only exploited women for personal profit, they also used violence, coercion and intimidation. HSI will continue to use its resources and work closely with other law enforcement agencies to stop these types of criminal enterprises that are operating in our communities."
Fuertes was employed by German de Jesus Ventura, 35, another illegal immigrant and resident of El Salvador. The two worked together between March 2008 and November 2010.
Jesus Ventura faces a minimum prison sentence of 15 years, up to a maximum of life behind bar, the release states.
“The defendants recruited and employed prostitutes, many of whom were aliens present in the U.S. unlawfully,” the release states. “Ventura arranged for vans and other vehicles to transport females within Maryland and across state lines to engage in prostitution.
“Ventura assaulted and threatened to use violence against one prostitute to coerce her continued participation in prostitution; threatened to use violence against competitor pimps; and sought to intimidate others who assisted his prostitutes. Fuertes knew of and financially benefitted from Ventura's actions,” the release continues.
Other defendants who aided the operation Jose Antonio Reyes-Maradiaga, 30, of Annapolis, and Isidro Jiminez-Sanchez and Wibert Alejandro Herrera-Aranda, both 34 and from Easton, previously pleaded guilty to their roles as handlers. All three men have been deported.
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