Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cartels in Connecticut

A year-long investigation came to a close Thursday as city, state and federal authorities broke up a sex trafficking operation centered in the Hollow neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut in the United States.

Three men were arrested and are facing prostitution-related charges, police said.

Emiliano Alameda-Cabrera, 36, Dardo Reyes, 29, and Patricio Reyes, 33, were all held with bail set at $1 million.

The Bridgeport trafficking group is believed to be part of a larger multi-state ring trafficking in women, mainly of Mexican descent, police said. The ring may have ties to organized crime in Mexico.

Women were rotated in and out of a house in Bridgeport, and new women arrived by train or were picked up from New York about once a week, sometimes more often, police said. While in Bridgeport, the women were not allowed to leave the house.

As part of the investigation, a confidential informant was sent in to pose as a customer, police said. The informant was taken downstairs in the house, shown several girls and quoted a price for sex.

On a second occasion, the informant was handed a business card and told, "I will drive the girls to you. Just call me," according to police.

"This truly is a sad case," said police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr.

On Thursday, authorities executed search and seizure warrants at 246 Lexington Ave. and 204-206 Olive St. and arrested the three men.

Five children were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families. Two women suspected of being prostitutes were also located and are being provided services by the International Institute of Connecticut, police said.

The investigation remains active in New York and Massachusetts.

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