Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nicaraguan national gets 10 months for sex trafficing of woman

A Nicaraguan national was sentenced to only 10 months in federal prison Monday, August 16 for transporting a woman from Atlanta to Northport, AL for sex work between January 7 and 15 of this year. Donald Castilblanco-Hernandez, 27, was officially convicted of a count of one count of interstate transportation of an individual for prostitution after pleading guilty in late spring. The presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon, also sentenced Castilblanco-Hernandez to 5 years of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

According to court documents, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received a tip that a Hispanic man was offering the services of prostitutes at a home on 10th Street in Northport. ICE agents executed a search warrant at the home on Jan. 15. They found a woman and three men inside the house, according to court documents. All of the occupants were determined to be foreign-born nationals unlawfully present in the U.S.

The agents discovered the woman and a man in a back bedroom. The man admitted that he had paid $25 to have sex with the woman. During interviews conducted later, agents discovered that the woman was being paid $15 to have sex with men. They found a suitcase in the bedroom filled with her clothing and 20 condoms that Castilblanco-Hernandez had bought.

Castilblanco-Hernandez was promised the reduced sentence when he plead guilty on June 1, 2010 in exchange for his cooperation with federal authorities, according to Raymond R. Parmer Jr.'This case is a perfect example of the outstanding cooperation between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and state and local law enforcement agencies,' Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent-in-charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in New Orleans, stated in the release.

"Because of such positive inter- agency cooperation, human trafficking and smuggling criminals are discovering how difficult it is for them to hide their illegal activities from authorities. We are dedicated to identifying and dismantling these types of illicit operations wherever and whenever we find them."

After sentencing, US Attorney Joyce White Vance issued this statement.

   Making money off the exploitation and misery of another human being, whether for commercial sex acts or forced labor, is human trafficking and nothing more than modern-day slavery. Prosecuting this type case is how we begin to address the criminal enterprise of human trafficking, which, sadly, is growing in the United States.

   It is a top priority of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office to forge partnerships among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and victim service providers to identify, investigate and prosecute crimes of human trafficking and reduce the number of people who become enslaved by it.

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