4 Mexican nationals extradited to US for international sex trafficking offenses

NEW YORK — Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York, four individuals have been extradited from Mexico to the United States to face sex trafficking charges.

Efrain Granados-Corona, aka "Chavito,” aka "Cepillo,” Emilio Rojas-Romero, Alan Romero-Granados, aka "El Flaco,” and Pedro Rojas-Romero, are charged together with Raul Romero-Granados, aka "Chicarcas,” aka "El Negro,” Isaac Lomeli-Rivera,” aka "Giro,” Julio Sainz-Flores, aka "Rogelio,” and Juan Romero-Granados, aka "Chegoya,” aka "El Guero,” with sex trafficking offenses in a 23-count Superseding Indictment (the "Indictment”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Efrain Granados-Corona and Emilio Rojas-Romero were extradited to the United States from Mexico on April 26. Alan Romero-Granados and Pedro Rojas-Romero were extradited to the United States from Mexico Tuesday.

The indictment, which was returned under seal on Sept. 15, 2016 alleges that the defendants are members of an international sex trafficking organization that exploited and trafficked adult and minor women in Mexico and in the United States from at least 2000 to 2016. Members of the defendants’ sex trafficking organization, which operated largely as a family business, used false promises, physical and sexual violence, and threats to force and coerce adult and minor women to engage in commercial sex for the organization’s profit in both Mexico and the United States.

As part of a coordinated bilateral law enforcement action, six defendants located in Mexico – Efrain Granados-Corona, Emilio Rojas-Romero, Alan Romero-Granados, Pedro Rojas-Romero, Julio Sainz-Flores, and Juan Romero-Granados – were arrested in Mexico and taken into custody by Mexican authorities pursuant to provisional arrest warrants submitted by the United States to Mexico in August 2016. As noted, the first four of these defendants were extradited to the United States from Mexico within the past week. The fifth of these defendants, Julio Sainz-Flores, was previously extradited to the United States from Mexico on June 8, 2017, and was presented in Manhattan federal court before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein on June 9, 2017. Juan Romero-Granados remains in Mexico pending extradition proceedings.  The two defendants who were arrested in the United States, Raul Romero-Granados and Isaac Lomeli-Rivera, were presented in Manhattan federal court on Oct. 27, 2016.

"These four individuals were transported more than two thousand miles from Mexico to be held accountable for the callous criminal actions alleged in this case,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge for HSI New York. "Those extradited, along with others, operated a family business centered on making money from exploiting females they forced into sex slavery. Now these traffickers will face justice where they made their income, right here in New York. Human Trafficking remains a priority for HSI whose primary focus is to rescue victims and release them from the grip of their captors.
"Sex trafficking is a heinous crime that violates both the rule of law and the most basic standards of human dignity. These defendants allegedly deprived women and girls of their freedom, and forced them into prostitution against their will. The scope of devastation these defendants allegedy inflicted on countless victims is beyond comprehension. But now they face significant criminal charges in an American court, and will have to answer for their allegedly reprensible actions. Our office is dedicated to combatting this demoralizing crime and helping survivors reclaim their lives,” said US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman.

As alleged in the indictment, Efrain Granados-Corona, Raul Romero-Granados, Isaac Lomeli-Rivera, Julio Sainz-Flores, Juan Romero-Granados, Alan Romero-Granados, Pedro Rojas-Romero, and Emilio Rojas-Romero, the defendants, are members of an international sex trafficking organization (the "STO”). Many of the members of the STO are related by blood, marriage, and community. For example: Efrain Granados-Corona is the uncle of Raul Romero-Granados, Isaac Lomeli-Rivera, Juan Romero-Granados, and Alan Romero-Granados; Pedro Rojas-Romero and Emilio Rojas-ROMERO are brothers; Juan Romero-Granados and Alan Romero-Granados are also brothers; and Isaac Lomeli-Rivera is Raul Romero-Granados’s brother-in-law.