Man Pleads To Charges Of Sex Trafficking
Federal Prosecutors Say Defendant Led Multistate Prostitution Ring
HARRISONBURG — A man charged in connection with a sex-trafficking ring pleaded guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.
Elin Naun Coello-Ordonez, 32, a Honduras national in the U.S. illegally, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to coerce and transport a woman by force for prostitution, according to a news release.
Federal prosecutors allege Coello-Ordonez led a multistate prostitution ring in which three other people were charged.
One of the brothels the group is accused of running was in Harrisonburg.
“Mr. Coello-Ordonez forced the young victim in this case to engage in prostitution, then physically abused her when she resisted,” U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy said in the release. “His despicable conduct has earned him a lengthy stay in federal prison. We must do all we can to identify and aggressively pursue similar patterns of human trafficking, which is sadly on the rise in our communities.”
As part of a plea deal, a judge plans to sentence Coello-Ordonez to 10 years in prison on Oct. 15.
Coello-Ordonez is already in prison serving a five-year term for entering the country illegally. Authorities indicted him on the prostitution charges after his conviction for illegal entry.
One of his co-defendants has pleaded guilty, while cases against the others are pending. Prosecutors say the group operated brothels around the mid-Atlantic.
Mario Ramirez-Larios, also known as “Tony,” “Tono” and “Paisa,” was charged with conspiracy to coerce and transport women for prostitution, transporting for prostitution, and aiding and abetting transporting for prostitution.
As part of a plea deal, Ramirez-Larios, 45, entered a guilty plea on April 16 to coercing and transporting women for prostitution. Judge Michael Urbanski scheduled him to be sentenced July 23. Ramirez-Larios faces up to 20 years in prison.
The two other defendants are: Iris Zenit Ayuso-Storer, also known as “Yacaris Frias De Los Santos” and “Tacha,” 35, of Harrisburg, Pa., and Kevin Alain Coello-Galeano, whose age and address was not available. Their cases are still pending.
According to an indictment, Ramirez-Larios recruited women to work in brothels in Maryland, Pennsylvania and western Virginia. The brothels largely catered to Hispanics, according to the indictment.
The investigation began in July 2011, when police responded to several 911 calls from a home at 601 N. Liberty St., Harrisonburg. Police say a woman told them that Coello-Ordonez took her to work in brothels in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville, as well as in Harrisburg, Pa., Scranton, Pa., and Hyattsville, Md.
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