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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

5 arrested in Glassboro on prostitution charges

GLASSBORO, N.J. — The Glassboro Police Department and New Jersey State Police executed a search warrant at a residence in Glassboro yesterday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also participated, after law enforcement agencies developed valuable information that this location was being operated as a brothel.

Three occupants have been charged on state charges for promoting prostitution. ICE has placed a detainer on two of the three individuals – once state charges are fully adjudicated, they will be turned over to ICE and placed in removal proceedings. Two additional occupants have been charged by the state for prostitution. An ICE detainer has been placed on one of those individuals.

An extensive search of the residence has resulted in the seizure of evidence related to prostitution.

"The arrests yesterday are a reflection of the success that comes when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies work together to target criminal enterprises in New Jersey communities," said Andrew McLees, acting special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Newark. "Running a prostitution ring or brothel is a common tactic used by human trafficking organizations. While we don't yet have any evidence of human trafficking in this investigation, HSI and our law enforcement partners are continuing to investigate the circumstances in which women ended up prostituting themselves in Glassboro."

Human smuggling and human trafficking are two of the most heinous crimes that HSI investigates. In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims pay to be illegally transported into the United States only to find themselves in the thrall of the traffickers. They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts – often entry in the United States. In certain cases, the victims are mere children. They find themselves surrounded by an unfamiliar culture and language without identification documents, fearing for their lives and the lives of their families.

ICE HSI is serious about ending human trafficking. ICE HSI relies on tips from the public to dismantle these organizations. The public is encouraged to keep their eyes and ears open to suspicious activity. Trafficking victims are often hidden in plain sight, voiceless and scared. Call ICE HSI's tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or complete its online tip form to report suspicious activity.