Charges broadened in Greeneville sexual enslavement case

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Nine people arrested in a sex slave ring now face more charges. Federal investigators say for years they moved undocumented women across 5 states and forced them into prostitution.

It came to an end in May. That's when agents busted the ring in Greene County. A federal grand jury returned a new indictment adding more counts and seeking to seize property from the defendants.

Named on the indictment are:
Reyna Rodriquez Rios
Eusebio Flores Martinez
Rosa Garcia Menendez
Obdulio C. Morales
Rubio Trinidad Narciso
Elda Dorali Moreno Ramirez
Raymundo Sanchez-Torres
Freddy Lopez Torres
Esthela Silfa Vasquez

Federal prosecutors are working to make this case as strong as possible and let traffickers know that it won't be tolerated in Tennessee.

"We're saying we're going to make it harder to traffic in Tennessee and not only are we going to prosecute the pimps and the traffickers to the fullest degree possible, but we're also going to go after your assets," said Christi Wigle, President of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, an agency that works closely with the government to combat the sex trade.

They were brought to this country and promised a better life, instead the victims were enslaved and forced into prostitution.

"A lot of undocumented immigrants that become victims of human trafficking, actually came to the united states with the assumption that they had papers."

And it can happen anywhere.

Wigle said, "It can be in any neighborhood. There's no neighborhood that's exempt from a potential brothel."

This is one of the largest sex ring stings in East Tennessee, something that's becoming more and more common.

"The brutality and the heinousness of the acts, whether it's labor trafficking or sex trafficking, they all have some similarities," she said.

Which is why anti-human trafficking advocates are working to attack what's become the 2nd largest industry in the world with everything they have.

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