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Three charged in sex-ring operation on Eastern Shore (Illegal Aliens)
The Virginian Pilot ^ | 6/3/06 | BILL BURKE AND GILLIAN GAYNAIR

Posted on 06/03/2006 5:59:32 PM PDT by wagglebee


Agents conducted raids at four Accomack County sites, including this house on Beartown Road in Mappsville, allegedly used as a brothel. l. todd spencer / The virginian-pilot



MAPPSVILLE - Federal authorities allege they have uncovered a sex-trafficking operation in which prostitutes were transported from New York City to service Hispanic customers at a brothel in this rural Eastern Shore community.

The purported ringleader is a restaurant operator and trailer-park landlord who also forced female tenants to turn tricks when they couldn't pay rent, and who reportedly stabbed a prostitute after a disagreement, according to documents unsealed in federal court on Thursday .

The case is the latest in a growing number of investigations nationwide of sex trafficking involving Hispanic women, some of whom are forced into prostitution after entering the United States illegally.

In the Eastern Shore case, three people have been arrested so far. One of them is Manuela Ferreiras, the common-law wife of Miguel Medina, identified in search warrant affidavits as the mastermind of the operation. Medina is being held for alleged immigration violations but has not been criminally charged.

Medina and Ferreiras - who was convicted of prostitution in New York in 1994 - have operated a string of brothels on the Eastern Shore since moving to Virginia from New York in 1997, an informant told federal authorities.

Law enforcement agents conducted raids May 20 at four locations in Accomack County, one a dilapidated house on Beartown Road in Mappsville that was allegedly used as a brothel. The investigation - involving the FBI, immigration officials and State Police - began in the fall of 2004.

The prostitutes were driven from New York to the Eastern Shore each week on Wednesday night or Thursday and taken back to New York on Sunday night, according to court papers.

Federal agents secretly videotaped activity and conducted surveillance at the Beartown Road house, where weekend business was brisk, according to court documents and testimony in Norfolk federal court last week.

Customers paid $30 for 15 minutes with a woman, buying tickets from guards at the back door of the house. The tickets were eventually presented to the women, who used tiny bedrooms with bare mattresses and boarded windows.

One informant told federal agents that in May or June of last year, the operation offered a weekend "special," featuring only 18- and 19-year-olds.

An undercover operative who bought a ticket and entered the house said four or five Hispanic men were standing in line inside the house, and there were several more people in the living room, according to the court papers.

While the undercover agent stood in line, "An Hispanic male exited the room while pulling up his pants. The Hispanic male customer was followed by an Hispanic female, wearing a black lingerie outfit."

The next customer was then called, ticket in hand.

The search warrants and testimony did not disclose whether the prostitution ring involves elements of human trafficking, in which women may be forced to engage in sex acts against their will.

Jennifer V. Collins, the lead FBI agent in the case, testified last week that there were conflicting opinions among those involved in the operation of the brothel about whether the women were free to leave when they were on the Eastern Shore, or whether they were under Medina's control.

She said Medina denied they were being held by force.

One of the crimes cited by agents in their application for search warrants was "offenses involving the coercion and enticement of an individual to travel interstate for the purpose of prostitution."

The frequency of human trafficking cases involving prostitut ion in the United States has risen dramatically in recent years. In many cases, the women are Hispanic , said Cecilia Cardesa-Lusardi, executive director of Voices Without Borders, a Wilmington, Del., Latino advocacy organization.

A woman seeking illicit passage into the United States often deals with a smuggler, or "coyote," Cardesa-Lusardi said.

"They will sometimes tell a woman, 'My son has a restaurant where you can work and he can get you room and board,' " she said. "But when they get here, they find out there's no restaurant at all."

They often end up living in squalid conditions and working for peonage - turning tricks in order to pay debts.

Recent prosecutions in Maryland, Delaware, Texas and Florida involved cases in which Hispanic women serviced Latino men. The Eastern Shore's year-round Hispanic population is about 3,000, a number that swells to 7,000 or more when seasonal migrant laborers arrive in midsummer.

In addition to Ferreiras, two men were arrested during the May 20 raid, one of them identified as Gustavo Ocasio Lopez, who allegedly served as a guard at the brothel and helped transport the women to and from New York. A criminal complaint listed three aliases for Lopez.

The third person arrested was identified as Antonio Quintero, also known as "Jesse Ruiz" and "Tonio." He testified that he worked at the Eastern Shore Yacht & Country Club as a golf course landscaper. He also was employed by Medina, transporting prostitutes locally, according to court documents.

Quintero wore an orange jumpsuit and tan sandals when he appeared in U.S. District Court last week. Magistrate Judge Tommy E. Miller, noting the defendant's various aliases, refused a motion to release him on bond, "if for no other reason than we don't know who he is."

Ferreiras and Quintero are being held on charges related to falsifying immigration documents; Lopez is being held on a charge of conspiracy to engage in the interstate transportation of prostitutes.

Medina, portrayed as the architect of the Eastern Shore operation, was identified in affidavits as the operator of the Plaza Garibaldi Restaurant & Store on U.S. 13 in Parksley, five miles south of Mappsville.

A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant Thursday night said it was closed. She said she did not know when it would reopen.

Medina and Ferreiras own several trailers at the Triangle Trailer Park in Mappsville, according to court papers.

"When the single women are unable to pay rent, Miguel Medina has forced them to work as prostitutes to pay the rent," an unidentified source is quoted telling federal investigators.

In 2002 or 2003, Medina had a disagreement with one of his prostitutes, identified as Irma Ortiz, who he said was not complying with orders, according to court papers. Medina then stabbed her with a knife, the source said.

When Ortiz received medical treatment, she could not explain what had happened, the source told federal agents, "because she does not speak English and her interpreter was another one of Miguel Medina's employees."

The source said that since 1997, the couple has operated brothels at the Triangle Trailer Park, Johnson Trailer Park in Nelsonia and a trailer on Winterville Road in Bloxom.

Medina and Ferreiras were living at an undisclosed residence in Bloxom when the May 20 raid took place.

One of the residences raided was a two-story house in Bloxom, but the address and occupants' names were blacked out in court papers. Items seized there included financial records, rolls of tickets and more than $5,000 in cash.

The raid, targeting four residences and six vehicles, also yielded notebooks, checks, cell phones, condoms, driver's licenses, containers of air freshener, tax documents, a revolver, ammunition, address books and identification documents.

Carlos Lopez, 24, on Friday recalled the raid last month at the Triangle Trailer Park. Agents swept in during early morning and arrested several men who lived in a cream-colored trailer on Williams Street.

Lopez, who lives in a nearby trailer with his wife and son, said he had met the men who live there when he was traveling through Mexico on his way to the United States from his native Honduras. He recalled how they took him in.

Lopez said he has lived in the trailer park for nearly two years, that Medina is his landlord, and that he pays the $400 rent each month at Plaza Garibaldi.

Lopez, who works at a nearby chicken processing plant, said he was skeptical of reports that women in the trailer park were forced to become prostitutes.

Lopez's sister, Yesenia Villanueva, 30, said she used to clean the Bloxom house where Medina and Ferreiras live and care for their child, earning $200 a week.

Not far from the trailer park, the house identified as a brothel sat abandoned on Friday, its front and back doors ajar, pale green paint peeling from the siding. It is flanked by a small church and a rusting trailer .

Behind the house is a parking area, paved with white seashells and littered with Miller Light, Corona and Dos Equis beer bottles.

Tammy White, 40, who lives on Beartown Road near the house, said it is common knowledge that prostitutes work the area, walking up and down the street.

"They prostitute right on this road, and these people pick them up, do what they have to do, and then drop them back," she said.

White said a relative was once paid to recruit Mexican and white women to work at the brothel, with the instruction that "they have to be small and have a nice shape."

White's daughter Camesha, 20, predicted that the law won't be able to drive the world's oldest profession away from Beartown Road for good.

"It's going to come back," she said. "If it doesn't come back here, it will be at the trailer park. Don't nobody pay this road no attention."



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: aliens; illegalaliens; prostitution; sexslaves
I suppose a "guest worker" program would have prevented this./sarcasm off
1 posted on 06/03/2006 5:59:35 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee
They're only coming here to build buildings and grow food for us lazy Americans wagglebee.

What are you? A racist like Ann Coulter?

L

2 posted on 06/03/2006 6:02:59 PM PDT by Lurker (Real conservatives oppose the Presidents amnesty proposal. Help make sure it dies in the House.)
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To: wagglebee

I guess it would have...but that still doesn't mean I want a guest worker program.


3 posted on 06/03/2006 6:03:43 PM PDT by Gondring (If a "Conservative" now wants to "conserve" our Constitution away, then I must be a Preservative!)
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To: wagglebee

Just doin' the whores Americans won't do. I'm sure that these were fine upstanding people who paid their taxes.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F


4 posted on 06/03/2006 6:20:07 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (America has no native criminal class, apart from Congress -- Mark Twain)
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To: Criminal Number 18F

Well, the picture sure seemed to show a fine, upstanding whorehouse.


5 posted on 06/03/2006 6:23:07 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee
Behind the house is a parking area, paved with white seashells and littered with Miller Light, Corona and Dos Equis beer bottles.

Guess if you get Virginia Food Stamps,welfare, plus the aforementioned $200 a week (probably cash), and live 40 to a roof, you can afford these high dollar beers. ML may be not that out of line, but Corona and Two X? Over my budget. Too busy paying taxes.

6 posted on 06/03/2006 6:24:03 PM PDT by OBXWanderer
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To: Criminal Number 18F

Family values don't stop at the border -George Bush


7 posted on 06/03/2006 6:24:10 PM PDT by dennisw (We should return to calling them Muhammadans -- Worshippers of Muhammad and maybe Allah)
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To: wagglebee

Not much has changed in 2000 years.
Man's heart has not changed. Greed and avarice are still operating...alive and well.Very sad.


8 posted on 06/03/2006 6:27:57 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Illegal Aliens....STFU!)
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To: OBXWanderer

Who knows, maybe the $30 whores come with free beer.


9 posted on 06/03/2006 6:28:35 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee
I suppose a "guest worker" program would have prevented this./sarcasm off

Why stop there...make them citizens so that the can collect welfare while living in public housing waiting for their earned income refund check. Still turning tricks of course.

10 posted on 06/03/2006 6:28:40 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: wagglebee

Just matching willing workers with willing employers.


11 posted on 06/03/2006 6:31:30 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Conservatism is moderate, it is the center, it is the middle of the road)
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To: wagglebee
I just hope that the ladies had their paint refreshed a little more recently than that shabby building.

But having seen casas de putas south of the border, I have a pretty clear idea exactly what they're importing.

Even in the down and out rural stretches of the Delmarva Peninsula and Eastern Shore, this is not what you want in your neighbourhood.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

12 posted on 06/03/2006 6:34:21 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (America has no native criminal class, apart from Congress -- Mark Twain)
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To: All

How 'bout the scary part?

All Potential Democrats -- to a man (or a peck**.)


13 posted on 06/03/2006 6:35:56 PM PDT by dk/coro
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To: Criminal Number 18F

Parts of the Eastern Shore are a lot like a Third World country. A few very wealthy people, a bunch of people in total poverty and no middle class to speak of. It's starting to change, but there's still a long way to go.


14 posted on 06/03/2006 6:36:28 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

This story gives the appearance that the Feds may have stumbled into doing the job that they are paid and expected to do. But the significant story about illegals is not about getting caught, it is what happens to them when they get caught. Everything that I read tells me that when illegals get processed in our court system they usually get a mulligan.


15 posted on 06/03/2006 6:36:30 PM PDT by Biblebelter
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Lopez, who works at a nearby chicken processing plant, said he was skeptical of reports that women in the trailer park were forced to become prostitutes

Just for general info, Perdue is the name in that neck of the woods.

16 posted on 06/03/2006 6:37:18 PM PDT by OBXWanderer
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To: wagglebee
... maybe the $30 whores come with free beer.

... and a sack over their heads.

17 posted on 06/03/2006 6:41:23 PM PDT by caryatid (Jolie Blonde, 'gardez donc, quoi t'as fait ...)
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To: OBXWanderer; Extremely Extreme Extremist

Tyson also has a plant there.

http://www.easternshore.org/labor.html


18 posted on 06/03/2006 6:43:42 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Lurker

Human sex trafficking. Finally, I have been presented with a job most Americans won’t do. I’m not sure that’s what GW had in mind though.


19 posted on 06/03/2006 7:04:04 PM PDT by LostInTheWoods (Oceania, hail to thee!)
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To: wagglebee

Well, the medical profession can start bracing themselves for more STD infections. Of course, the taxpayers will pay to clean it up.

I could not imagine a more horrible way to keep a roof over one's head :(


20 posted on 06/03/2006 7:14:08 PM PDT by TheSpottedOwl (If you don't understand the word "Illegal", then the public school system has failed you.)
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To: wagglebee
Tyson also has a plant there.

Correct, in a town called, Temperanceville. Heh Jorge, Juan, Rosita, Maria, "Como se dici in espanol, temperance?

21 posted on 06/03/2006 7:15:56 PM PDT by OBXWanderer
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To: OBXWanderer

Mas cerveza?!


22 posted on 06/03/2006 7:16:37 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

Jobs we Freepers just won't do.


23 posted on 06/03/2006 7:17:18 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Only stupid people would vote for McCain, Warner, Hagle, Snowe, Graham, or any RINO)
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To: dennisw
[ Family values don't stop at the border -George Bush ]

LoL.. Puts a whole new smell..bent.. ugh.. look on the guest worker program..

24 posted on 06/03/2006 7:38:55 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole..)
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To: wagglebee

tonight's America's Most Wanted was a veritable illegal immigrant crime spree special.

http://www.amw.com/show_archive/tv_detail.cfm?currentDate=2006-06-03


25 posted on 06/03/2006 7:49:01 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!)
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To: wagglebee

My, my. How, er, romantic?

/sarc

26 posted on 06/03/2006 7:58:01 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Some clever bones tossed to The Right on gay marriage & flag burning don't absolve GWB over BORDERS)
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To: wagglebee
The case is the latest in a growing number of investigations nationwide of sex trafficking involving Hispanic women, some of whom are forced into prostitution after entering the United States illegally.

Doing Johns that Americans won't do.
27 posted on 06/03/2006 8:16:26 PM PDT by clyde asbury
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To: ncountylee
I suppose a "guest worker" program would have prevented this./sarcasm off
Why stop there...make them citizens so that the can collect welfare while living in public housing waiting for their earned income refund check.

Don't laught too hard. Our government actually issues something called a "T" visa to some prostitutes who say they were trafficked. There's a good chance these hookers are here to stay.

28 posted on 06/04/2006 3:30:22 AM PDT by RodgerD (Reject the Democrat's Migration Explosion Act of 2006. No to 70 million new third-world aliens.)
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To: Gabz

A possible ping for the Delmarva list.


29 posted on 06/04/2006 3:45:01 AM PDT by Heatseeker
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To: Heatseeker; confederacy of dunces; Pyro7480; Dustbunny; Godebert; BykrBayb; WanderingOisin; ...

Definitely a ping for the DelMarVa list!!!!!!!

This hits very close to home........Mappsville is the next town south of me, and there is an elementary school practically around the corner from this

Additionally, the restaurant owned by the alleged ring leader "WAS" our favorite. I emphasize the past tense because even if it reopens, I will never set foot in it again.


30 posted on 06/04/2006 12:28:27 PM PDT by Gabz (Proud to be a WalMartian --- beep)
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To: wagglebee
Parts of the Eastern Shore are a lot like a Third World country. A few very wealthy people, a bunch of people in total poverty and no middle class to speak of. It's starting to change, but there's still a long way to go.

That's sad, but true.

I'm sorry I missed this last night...........but I was working, doing work americans won't do.......such as cleaning up the mess left after a private party, hosted by and for Mexicans..........Very near where this raid was held.

31 posted on 06/04/2006 12:47:12 PM PDT by Gabz (Proud to be a WalMartian --- beep)
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To: wagglebee; OBXWanderer; Extremely Extreme Extremist
Tyson also has a plant there.

It was the Tyson plant being referred to in the article. In this rural area 3 miles is considered around the corner - the plant is around the corner from where I live.

32 posted on 06/04/2006 12:49:59 PM PDT by Gabz (Proud to be a WalMartian --- beep)
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To: wagglebee
Interesting.

They have finally done something about the prostution. Now maybe they will do something about the drug dealers.

33 posted on 06/04/2006 1:05:57 PM PDT by Dustbunny (Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me)
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To: Gabz
Nothing to be sorry for Gabz, I just happened to be doing one of my all-nighters and saw it come up.

We have the same problem in northern Caroline County, especially around Henderson and Marydel.

34 posted on 06/04/2006 6:07:19 PM PDT by Heatseeker
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To: Heatseeker

None better in the summer than corn from Caroline County. Best I ever tasted.


35 posted on 06/05/2006 6:52:42 AM PDT by OBXWanderer
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To: Gabz; wagglebee
Parts of the Eastern Shore are a lot like a Third World country. A few very wealthy people, a bunch of people in total poverty and no middle class to speak of. It's starting to change, but there's still a long way to go.

And sex-ring problems are not the ONLY problem illegals pose on the eastern shore and in particular Accomack County. You may have seen this Virginian Pilot article back in October. Guess to be a first class illegal you do need a car with a tag from our friends over in the Volunteer State.

36 posted on 06/05/2006 7:11:40 AM PDT by OBXWanderer
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