Five Members of ‘Rendon-Reyes’ Mexican Sex Trafficking Ring Sentenced

Five members of a sex trafficking organization operating out of Mexico for over a decade were sentenced to between 15 and 25 years in prison today. The defendants were members of the “Rendon-Reyes Trafficking Organization,” which operated between 2004 and 2015, and previously pleaded guilty to racketeering, sex trafficking and other charges after their arrests in Mexico and the U.S.

“These well-deserved sentences reflect the gravity of the human trafficking crimes these defendants committed,” stated Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. “The defendants operated an extensive sex trafficking enterprise that preyed on vulnerable young women and girls, deceiving them with false promises, coercing their compliance, and compelling them into submission through beatings, threats, isolation, and intimidation.”

ICYMI: 36 Members of International Sex Trafficking Organization Found Guilty

The organization was based in Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, and operated in New York, Georgia and Alabama, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars that were laundered back to Mexico, according to the Justice Department.

The Defendants and Their Sentences:

  • Jovan Rendon-Reyes, 32, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for victimizing a number of women under his authority, forcing a minor to have “countless” acts of sex with him and beating her when she did not earn enough money.
  • Saul Rendon-Reyes, 41, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for forcing a woman to have sex shortly after she had given birth, beating women and depriving them of food.
  • Felix Rojas, 48, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for kidnapping, forcing two women to commit countless sex acts by intimidating them, beating them and causing one woman to have a miscarriage by beating her.
  • Odilon Martinez-Rojas, 47, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for forcing three women to perform countless sex acts for commercial purposes by using “violence, manipulation and fear.” Additionally, he raped one victim and beat her with a baseball bat. He beat the second victim when she defended a friend of hers, who was a virgin. He also forced the third victim to take pills to induce a miscarriage and savagely beat her when she refused to engage in prostitution. Martinez-Rojas was also ordered to pay $180,000 in restitution to the victims.
  • Severiano Martinez-Rojas, 53, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for luring three women into romantic relationships, promising them work and marriage, arranged for them to be illegally smuggled into the U.S., and then – once the women were in the country – threatened and beat them into performing “countless sex acts in the Atlanta area and Alabama,” where Martinez-Rojas also ran a brothel out of a trailer.

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“These sentencings are the latest chapter in this office’s long-term commitment to eradicate human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York. “The crimes committed by the members of the Rendon-Reyes Trafficking Organization were brutal and shocking, and I hope that the sentences give the victims in this case some sense of justice. We will not tolerate the exploitation of women and girls for profit or sexual servitude.”

The case was investigated by the New York Office of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, HSI New York’s Trafficking in Persons Unit, HSI Mexico City Attaché Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the State Department and Interpol.

 

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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