Colquitt Countians caught in sexual slavery sweep - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Colquitt Countians caught in sexual slavery sweep

MACON CO., GA (WALB) -

Federal authorities arrested 29 people in 13 cities across eight states Thursday on sex trafficking and related charges in "Operation Safe Haven," which originated in Moultrie.

Colquitt County residents are behind bars as part of the raid, said United States Attorney for the Middle  District of Georgia. Michael J.  Moore.

The operation, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), began in Moultrie, and identified a loosely affiliated organization that coordinates the movement of Hispanic women and girls throughout the southeastern United States. The traffickers worked as independent operators and coordinated the movement  and delivery of women  for sexual  purposes.

Six Colquitt County residents, Jose Roberto Laines, AKA "El Viejon, 59,  Galdino Benitez, 57,  Carmen Michelle Pecina, 42, Uvaldo Barrioz  Perez, John McLeod, 33, and Juan Gomez, 52, were all taken into custody, and charged with conspiracy to transport a person in interstate commerce for prostitution. Nine suspects remain at large. 

Law enforcement  officers rescued  15 potential  victims  of fraud, force or coercion, in the brothels  and residences  searched yesterday.

Operation Safe Haven was led by HSI-Savannah with assistance from Savannah Chatham Metropolitan P.D, Savannah State University P.D., Chatham Narcotics Team, Colquitt County SO, Pierce County SO, CBP AMO, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, Coast Guard Investigative Service and Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office.

Anyone who suspects instances of human trafficking is encouraged to call the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Here is the list of the people arrested:

DEFENDANTS

HOME TOWN

(1) Jose Roberto Laines a/k/ a "El Viejon"

Moultrie, GA

(2) Galdino Benitez

Moultrie, GA

(3) Carmen Michelle Pecina

Moultrie, GA

(4) Yamileth Hernandez a/k/ a "Yamileth Portillo" and "Gabby"

(5) Maria Mercado a/ k/ a "Marisol"

Duluth, GA

(6)Heriberta Caraballo a/k/ a "Cristina" and "La Columbiana ff

Louisiana

(7) Juan Ortiz Bojorquez

Louisiana

(8) Juan Jose Sotelo a/k/ a "Don Jose"

Prairieville, LA

(9) Antonio Flores Esparza a/ k/ a "Tonio"

Pensacola, FL

(10) Jose Trujillo a/k/ a "El Gordo"

Houston, TX

(11) Germania Guzman a/ k/ a "Deborah"

Houston, TX

(12)Flor Torres

Columbia, SC

(13) Uvaldo Barrioz  Perez

Moultrie, GA

(14) John McLeod

Moultrie, GA

(15) Juan Gomez

Hartsfield, GA

(16) Evelyn Patricia Yanes, a/k/ a "Patty"

Houston, TX

(17) Arnold Campbell

Houston, TX

(18) Leti LNU

Atlanta, GA

(19) Alejandro  Monterrey

Norcross, GA

(20) Carlos Perez a/ k/ a "Chema"

Atlanta, GA

(21) Bernabe Carbajal, a/ k/ a "El Chaparro"

Montgomery,  AL

(22) Gloria Isabel Reyes, a/ k/ a "Estela Reyes," Gloria Dominguez", "Dona Gloria"

Forest, MS

(23) Milton Ivan Dominguez

Forest, MS

(24) Luis Roberto Dominguez

Mississippi

(25) Amada Garcia a/ k/ a "Marlene"

Taylor, SC

(26) Jaime Ramirez Villeda

Winston-Salem, NC

(27) Ernesto Trejos Villeda

Winston-Salem, NC

(28) Alba Blandon a/ k/ a "Dona Alba"

Sunset, LA

(29) Mauro Lira a/ k/ a "Chino"

Hattiesburg,  MS

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