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Mexicans accused in US of sex trafficking

New York -

Two Mexican brothers extradited to the United States were formally accused in US court on Monday of trafficking at least three young women and forcing them into prostitution, prosecutors said.

Benito Lopez-Perez, 32, and Anastasio Romero-Perez, 39, face charges of sex trafficking, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and money laundering offenses, involving victims as young as 14-years-old.

Their brother Jose Gabino Barrientos-Perez, 51, was extradited and arraigned on December 3 on the same charges.

If convicted, the men face at least 15 years and up to life in prison.

They were alleged to have lured their Mexican victims from Mexico without proper documentation and forcing them to work as prostitutes in New York City and elsewhere in the United States between January 2003 and October 2010.

A fourth man in a separate case, Antonio Lira-Robles, was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court last month on charges of sex trafficking, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and money laundering. He has since been extradited.

“The sex trafficking of young girls and women is modern-day slavery,” said US Attorney Loretta Lynch. “We will do everything in our power to eradicate it.”

Lynch also announced the reunification of a Mexican trafficking victim and her child after being separated for more than 10 years by the Carreto organisation. - Sapa-AFP

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