Mexico — Emiliano Romero Ramirez, Maria Juana Rugerio Saucedo and Cristina Hernandez Suarez received a collective sentence of 65 years in prison for their involvement in a human trafficking operation. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Mexico Attorney General's Office's (PGR) Special Investigations Unit on Organized Crime (SIEDO).
Romero Ramirez and Rugerio Saucedo received a sentence of 37 years and six months in prison and a fine of $4,500 ($231,608 Mexican pesos). Hernandez Suarez received a sentence of 28 years and six months in prison and $2,850 fine ($145,639 Mexican pesos). The sentence also requires the individuals to forfeit assets totaling more than $10 million which will be part of the victims' compensation.
The investigation began on April 21, 2009 after ICE HSI, in coordination with SIEDO, revealed that three Atlanta women were being sexually exploited. These women were allegedly trafficked into the United States. The investigation also identified, through the Mexican Federal Investigations Agency, two young women who escaped from their traffickers and returned to Veracruz and Tabasco, Mexico. These women cooperated with authorities, which helped identify the heads of the trafficking organization, Miguel Angel and Saul Romero. Angel is currently in the custody of U.S. law enforcement and Romero is still at-large.