International Sex Ring Busted in New Jersey

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Acting Attorney General John Hoffman today announced the breakup of an international human trafficking and sex ring operating brothels in New Jersey, New York and elsewhere.

Christopher Baxter/The Star-LedgerBy Christopher Baxter/The Star-Ledger 
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on July 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM, updated July 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

TRENTON — A Lakewood man and five of his associates who ran a network of brothels in the town have been arrested as part of a take down of an international human trafficking and sex ring, acting state Attorney General John Hoffman announced today.

The brothels and others in New York and surrounding states worked together to bring women into the U.S. illegally from Mexico and other Latin American countries under the pretense that they would work as house cleaners or babysitters, authorities said.

But in reality, authorities said, the women were tricked into a life of prostitution — one that often required them to have sex with as many as 100 johns per week for as little as $30 per encounter.

“It is hard to comprehend the state of subjugation and degredation in which these victims submitted to such ridiculous and heinous demands,” Hoffman said at a news conference in Trenton.

The brothels were allegedly run by Jose Cruz Romero-Flores, 38, also known as “Chato”, who was arrested July 11 along with four of his associates. His girlfriend, Odulia Bedran Trejo, 22, was arrested three days later, authorities said.

Only one brothel was operating at the time of the arrests, authorities said.

Romero-Flores was charged with first-degree human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime and third-degree promoting prostitution. All five of those arrested are in the country illegally and are being held in Ocean County jail, authorities said

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