Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The Associated Press reported today that federal authorities in Miami have sentenced a man to 15 years in prison for smuggling Mexican women and girls into the US and forcing them into prostitution by means of intimidation, violence and threats of physical harm.
“Juan Luis Cadena-Sosa was a member of a conspiracy that lured young women and girls from Mexico to the United States with false promises of a better life and then forced them into modern day-slavery in a network of brothels that spanned the East Coast,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Grace Chung Becker. “We thank the Mexican authorities for working with us to extradite him from Mexico to face justice in Florida, where the exploitation took place.”
This case dates back to 1998, when 15 people were charged in relation to it. Cadena-Sosa was a fugitive until he was extradited from Mexico last year. Nine defendants, including Cadena-Sosa, have now been found guilty in U.S. federal court. One was convicted in Florida state court on charges arising from this criminal operation. Another was convicted on related charges in Mexico. A third died while a fugitive. Three defendants remain at large. Those convicted in U.S. federal court have received prison sentences ranging from 30 months to 15 years.
According to MarketWatch, U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced Cadena-Sosa to 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $200. He was further ordered to pay jointly with his co-defendants $964,175.60 in restitution to the victims.