MIAMI – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that Arturo-Rojas-Gonzalez, Elodia Capilla-Diego, Fidel Gutierrez-Gonzalez, and Rosalio Valdez-Nava were arrested on Wednesday for sex trafficking of women in several brothels across South Florida following an ongoing investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This investigation was made possible by the extensive collaboration among law enforcement agencies committed to combat this modern day form of slavery. Law enforcement also worked with non-governmental organizations to identify, rescue and provide assistance to the victims. The defendants made their initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres yesterday at 1:30 PM in Miami, and detention hearings are scheduled for each of the defendants on November 25, 2008 at 10:00 AM.
According to the criminal complaints filed with the United States District Court, ICE conducted an intensive investigation into more than a dozen brothels and stash houses where immigrant women were being forced into prostitution. Through statements of former victims, corroborated by surveillance and evidence obtained through search warrants, ICE arrested the four alleged brothel operators as part of a larger criminal organization operating similar brothels across South Florida. Additionally, as part of ICE’s efforts to dismantle this brothel network, nine victims were rescued from locations where search warrants were executed on November 19, 2008.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who worked on this investigation with the assistance of other partner agencies of the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, which included the Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD), Homestead Police Department, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and the Miami Dade Medical Examiner’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Rashbaum and Brent Tantillo.