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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
04/23/2012

Brothel owner pleads guilty in alien harboring conspiracy

ATLANTA, Ga. – A Marietta, Ga., woman pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to entice individuals to cross state lines to engage in prostitution and to encourage and induce aliens to reside unlawfully in the United States, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI and the Cobb County Police Department.

According to court documents, Luz Gutierrez, 56, operated a house of prostitution in Marietta, in which she employed illegal aliens both as house caretakers and prostitutes. In addition to employing prostitutes who lived in Georgia, Gutierrez regularly solicited illegal alien prostitutes living in other states, including Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Massachusetts, to travel to Georgia, where they worked for Gutierrez and Epifania Sanchez Delarosa, her co-defendant, who also allegedly operated brothels. Gutierrez also recruited prostitutes who lived in Georgia to travel to Alabama and work for an associate of Gutierrez who owned and managed brothels in that state.

Gutierrez was indicted in December on two counts of conspiracy, two counts of enticing individuals to cross state lines to engage in prostitution, and two counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to reside unlawfully in the United States. She pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count. She could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 10 before United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten.