Feds announce bust of Latin American-Midwestern sex trafficking ring

May 4, 2011

Ken Kusmer, Associated Press

(File/Getty/Ian Waldie)

Federal authorities say they've broken up a prostitution ring that smuggled women in from Mexico and other Latin American countries to work in brothels in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, metropolitan Chicago and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Brad Shepard in Indianapolis says federal, state and local authorities arrested 19 people in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois on racketeering and conspiracy charges. He says investigators have found no evidence that any are legal U.S. residents.

Shepard said Wednesday that women were rotated weekly among the brothels generally set up in apartments. He says the ring was controlled by Mexican brothers Noberto, Gregorio, and Jose Louis Hernandez-Castilla.

He says they used business cards advertising car repairs and western wear to attract clients.

A message seeking comment was left with a federal public defender.