Three Mexican brothers were sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to operate an interstate prostitution ring that relied on women who were smuggled in from Mexico and Central America and coerced into working for the trio.
Gregorio, Jose Luis and Norberto Hernandez-Castilla operated a score of bordellos in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio and provided women to prostitution rings in New York, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri and Florida, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis said.
The brothers, who were living in the United States illegally, managed the criminal enterprise from Indianapolis and Chicago.
Gregorio was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, while his siblings each received prison terms of 51 months.
Forced into prostitution to repay the brothers for smuggling them into the United States, the women were moved on a weekly basis between the various locations.
Most of the clients were immigrants, paying $40-$50 for encounters with the women.
Twelve other undocumented immigrants are facing charges in the case.
“For years, this criminal organization moved women like human merchandise all over this city and across the Midwest,” the U.S. attorney in Indianapolis, Joseph Hogsett, said in a statement.
“I am proud to announce today that we have finalized our effort to completely dismantle this dangerous group, bringing an end to their cycle of exploitation,” he said.