SAVANNAH, Georgia — In January 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the results of Operation Dark Night, a large-scale investigation into a sex trafficking ring operating in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. The investigation, which was led by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Savannah, led to a takedown of 15 brothels, 13 criminal arrests and the rescue of 12 victims.
In February 2014, 24 members of the sex trafficking operation were sentenced, including a life sentence for the ringleader – Joaquin Mendez-Hernandez – and a collective 97 years for the remaining 24 defendants. The victims were ordered to be paid $705,000 in restitution.
One fugitive remains in this case – Eugenio Hernandez-Prieto – whose last known address was Tenacingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico.