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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Peruvian woman convicted of running sex trafficking venture

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An Arlington woman, originally from Peru, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., and Fairfax County Police.

Ruth Antuanet Miller, 35, faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment when she is sentenced March 28.

Miller admitted that from May 2011 through July 2013, she was the leader of a venture that prostituted women, including illegal aliens, at various hotels and motels in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax County.

Miller coerced some of the women to prostitute by claiming she had ties to U.S. immigration agencies and that she could have the victims removed from the country if they refused. She also coerced women by claiming that she had ties with local law enforcement agencies and that the victims would be arrested if they did not perform commercial sex acts.

One victim incurred a debt to Miller and it was used as a form of debt bondage to induce this victim to perform sex acts. Miller also claimed to be affiliated with a criminal street gang and implicitly threatened victims with harm if they failed to comply with her demands.

Miller allowed the victims to keep 50 percent of the money they earned from prostitution and required them to pay her the remaining profit. Although the prices varied over time, Miller typically instructed the women to charge $60 for 10 to 15 minutes of sex, $80 for 20 minutes, and $100 for one hour. Miller's co-conspirators assisted her in operating the venture by doing such things as booking hotel rooms, helping her post advertisements on the Internet, transporting the victims, and collecting money from the victims. She admitted trafficking at least five victims.