9 indicted in interstate prostitution network

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal grand jury in East Tennessee has indicted nine people on charges of operating a brothel and prostitution network in Tennessee and Kentucky that involved women who are illegal immigrants.

A statement by the U.S. attorney's office said the network operated in Knoxville, Morristown, Johnson City, Nashville and Louisville, Ky., and catered to Hispanic men. The defendants are accused of transporting the women from one city to another on a weekly basis for more than four years.

One of the defendants, Reyna Rodriquez Rios, was arraigned Friday. His attorney, Donald Spurrell of Johnson City, said Monday that his client pleaded not guilty. Spurrell said he has not yet received details on the case.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said in the statement that "human trafficking is an ever-increasing problem."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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