U.S. authorities have broken up a ring that trafficked women from Latin America and forced them to work in brothels, reports El Nuevo Heraldo. Nineteen people were arrested in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.
Many of the victims were smuggled into the country from Mexico and Central America, according to investigators. They were made to work in various locations across the country, in brothels that catered only to Hispanic customers.
The group was allegedly run by Mexican citizen Jose Louis Hernandez-Castilla.
FBI agent Michael Langeman told press that the women were trafficked to the U.S., then told they had to work in order to pay off debts they had supposedly incurred to the gang. This is a common practice by criminal groups who trick people by offering them passage to the U.S. and then force them to work without pay.