A Mexican national accused of coercing women into working as prostitutes around the United States has been extradited to New York to face federal charges.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn said Hugo Hernandez-Velazquez, 45, belonged to a sex-trafficking organization that exploited women for more than 18 years.
The group, which had a base in Queens, used beatings and forced abortions to ensure the women continued working in brothels from Alabama to Connecticut, shipping cash they earned back to Mexico, federal prosecutors wrote in court filings.
The women were lured into romantic relationships through “false promises of love and support,” prosecutors wrote, and often not allowed to contact their families after being taken into homes of the traffickers in Tenancingo.
A message was sent to Hernandez-Velazquez’s defense attorney seeking comment.
Hernandez-Velazquez was arrested in Mexico in August and extradited to the United States on Wednesday. He faces at least 15 years in prison if convicted.
Two of his siblings are also charged in the case.