Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misstated the gender of two of the suspects in the case, Alejandra Arguello-Uribe and Karime Gallon Moreno. They are women
Two women and a man were arrested this week over accusations that they used two brothels in Massachusetts as a front for human trafficking, authorities said.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced criminal charges for the three suspects Friday in connection with the two sex trafficking operations they are accused of running in Framingham.
Alejandra Arguello-Uribe and Karime Gallon Moreno, both of whom are from Framingham, were arrested on Wednesday by Massachusetts State Police, Healey’s office said in a statement.
The two women were charged with one count each of sex trafficking, keeping a house of ill fame and maintaining a house of prostitution, the statement said.
Samuel Artunduaga Herrera, who is from Queens, New York, was also arrested in New York on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the operation, the statement said.
The New York man is expected to be extradited to Massachusetts to be arraigned at a later date on charges of deriving support from prostitution, sex trafficking, keeping a house of ill fame and maintaining a house of prostitution
Healey’s office claimed Herrera, Arguello-Uribe and Moreno ran a “profitable and organized” criminal enterprise through two residential brothels on Henry and Melrose streets in Framingham, where they offered sexual activity between victims and buyers in exchange for a fee.
Artunduaga is accused of running the Henry Street trafficking operation in the spring of 2020 before fleeing to New York. The attorney general’s office said he also helped run the Melrose Street brothel with Arguello-Uribe and Moreno.
The two Framingham women were arraigned Wednesday in Framingham District Court, where they both pleaded not guilty, according to Healey.
Cash bail was set at $25,000 for Arguello-Uribe and $10,000 for Moreno, with the conditions that they surrender their passports and remain in Massachusetts under house arrest, authorities said. A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Oct. 30.
The attorney general’s office is working with victim service organizations to ensure the alleged victims of the trafficking operations have the help and services they need, according to officials.
The office’s Human Trafficking Division has charged more than 60 individuals in connection with human trafficking since the state’s anti-trafficking laws went into effect in 2012, Healey noted.