Three men have been arrested in connection with trafficking women for sex at two brothels in Framingham homes that served as fronts for human trafficking, state Attorney General Maura Healey said Friday.
Federal immigration officials are also investigating the case, the Herald was told.
Alejandra Arguello-Uribe, 38, and Karime Gallon Moreno, 19, both of Framingham, were arrested there on Wednesday by State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office.
Arguello-Uribe and Moreno were charged with one count each of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, keeping a house of ill fame and maintaining a house of prostitution, in connection with a brothel that they allegedly helped operate out of a Melrose Street home, Healey said.
Arguello-Uribe and Moreno were arraigned on Wednesday in Framingham District Court, where they both pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was set at $25,000 cash for Arguello-Uribe and $10,000 cash for Moreno, with the conditions that they surrender their passports and remain in Massachusetts under house arrest. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Oct. 30.
Samuel Artunduaga Herrera, 47, of Queens, N.Y., was arrested in New York by police there on Wednesday. He will be extradited to Massachusetts to be arraigned at a later date on charges of trafficking persons for sexual servitude, deriving support from prostitution, keeping a house of ill fame, and maintaining a house of prostitution, in connection with a brothel that he was allegedly operating out of a Henry Street home in the spring before fleeing to New York, Healey said. Her office alleges that he also helped run the Melrose Street brothel.
State police assigned to the AG’s Office developed evidence indicating that Herrera, Arguello-Uribe and Moreno ran a profitable and organized criminal enterprise through the two residential brothels, where they offered sexual between victims and buyers in exchange for a fee.
The Victim Services Division of Healey’s office is working with victim service organizations to ensure the victims get the help they need, she said.
Through its Human Trafficking Division, the AG’s office has charged more than 60 people in connection with human trafficking since the state’s anti-trafficking laws went into effect in 2012.
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