On Friday California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the sentencing of three defendants in a human trafficking ring in which women from Mexico were used as prostitutes in five Northern California cities.
Nery Najarro-Rodriguez, 42, Jorge Perez-Hernandez, 37, and Luis Mata, 30, pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit pimping and pandering as part of a multi-county investigation.
The defendants were each sentenced in Sacramento County Superior Court to three years in county jail.
The charges stemmed from an extensive FBI investigation into a human trafficking network that spanned several northern California counties.
Young women, ages 21 to 30, were trafficked from Mexico and sold for sex to as many as 20 clients in a single day.
The sex acts occurred in brothels identified in Chico, Stockton, Yuba City, Fairfield and Sacramento.
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that brutalizes millions of victims,” said Attorney General Harris. “It is important that we investigate, prosecute and imprison those who force this kind of cruelty and depravity upon women. These sentences send a message that human traffickers will be prosecuted and punished.”
In January, the FBI served arrest and search warrants at the brothel houses and recovered evidence which was presented to the Attorney General’s Special Crimes Unit.
FBI surveillance showed that the women spent approximately one week at a particular brothel before being driven to a bus station or another brothel location.
Federal prosecutors have charged three additional defendants with harboring an alien and conspiracy to harbor an alien. That case is still pending.
California Department of Justice Special Agents obtained arrest warrants for five suspects on state conspiracy and pimping charges. Three of those five suspects were sentenced Friday.
A fourth suspect, Adelaida Teran-Bravo, 42, was previously convicted of felony accessory and sentenced to six months in county jail.
Charges against the fifth defendant, Garrido Fuentas, 32, are currently pending in Butte County Superior Court.
Last year, Attorney General Harris released “The State of Human Trafficking in California 2012,” a report that outlines the growing threat of the crime of human trafficking, as well as the increasing involvement of sophisticated transnational gangs in perpetrating the crime and the use of the Internet in both facilitating and preventing it.
For more information on human trafficking, go to: http://www.oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking .