MOULTRIE, GA (WTXL) -- Federal authorities arrested 29 people across eight states Thursday on sex trafficking and related charges in a sweeping operation dubbed "Operation Safe Haven". Five of those arrests were in Moultrie.
From the U.S Department of Justice
The operation, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), began in Moultrie, Georgia and identified a loosely affiliated organization that coordinates the movement of Hispanic females throughout the southeastern United States. The traffickers within this organization work as independent operators and coordinate the movement and delivery of women for sexual purposes.
The indictment charges six people with conspiracy to participate in the sex trafficking of a minor. 38 people are charged with conspiracy to transport a person in interstate commerce for prostitution — nine suspects remain at large after 29 were arrested Thursday. Three of the network' s customers have been charged with promoting the prostitution.
The female victims' identities are being protected while officials ensure they receive emergency medical assistance, food and shelter.
"This operation highlights exactly what the Secretary charted us to do through these task forces," said Dave Marwell, Director of DHS Joint Task Force — Investigations. "By strategically applying the broad resources of DHS against a priority investigation, criminal organizations don't stand a chance. We will continue to focus our efforts to ensure we are dismantling criminal organizations that traffic women into the US for the purposes of sexual slavery. "
WHO WAS ARRESTED:
1 Jose Roberto Laines, Moultrie, GA
2 Galdino Benitez, Moultrie, Ga
3 Carmen Michelle Pecina, Moultrie, GA
4 Yamileth Hernandez
5 Maria Mercado Duluth, GA
6 Heriberta Caraballo, Louisiana
7 Juan Ortiz, Louisiana
8 Juan Jose Sotel, Prairieville, LA
9 Antonio Flores, Pensacola, FL
10 Jose Tru'illo, Houston, TX
11 Germania Guzman, Houston, TX
12 Flor Torres, Columbia, SC
13 Uvaldo Barrioz Perez, Moultrie, GA
14 John McLeod, Moultrie, GA
15 Juan Gomez, Hartsfield, GA
16 Evel Patricia Yanes, Houston, TX
17 Arnold Cam bell, Houston, TX
18 Leti LNU, Atlanta, GA
19 Ale' andro Monterre, Norcross, GA
20 Carlos Perez, Atlanta, GA
21 Bernabe Carbjal, Montgomery, AL
22 Gloria Isabel Reyes, Forest, MS
23 Milton Ivan Domingez, Forest, MS
24 Luis Roberto Domingez, Mississippi
25 Amada Garcia, Taylor, SC
26 Jaime Ramirez Villeda, Winston-Salem, NC
27 Ernesto Trejos Villeda, Winston-Salem, NC
28 Alba Blandon, Sunset, LA
29 Mauro Lira, Hattiesburg , MS