Federal, state, and local authorities busted a sex-slavery ring here in Minneapolis last night, arresting at least 25 people and closing down eight brothels. The women involved all appear to have been illegal immigrants exploited by coyotes for their pimping business:
The women came mostly from Mexico and Central America.
When they arrived in Minnesota, the women had their passports and other identifying documents taken away and they were forced into a world of prostitution. In one night, two women serviced more than 80 men in a south Minneapolis house.
On Monday, in what might be one of the biggest such cases in Minnesota, 25 people were charged in federal court with running eight brothels. Eighteen of the suspects are illegal immigrants, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court.
This is a horrific case, and one which points out the need for strong border control. The men conned the women into crossing the border, and then they took advantage of their illegal status to force them into prostitution. The pimps forced one woman to service over 40 men in a single night.
How did the ring get discovered? In a tragic note, a slain police officer discovered the operation shortly before he got shot and killed by a drunk:
The arrests also were credited to slain St. Paul police Sgt. Jerry Vick, who two years ago this month was killed while doing undercover work.
St. Paul Assistant Police Chief Nancy DiPerna said that Vick had discovered a prostitution ring involving Mexican and Central American women. A foundation created in his name applied for a federal grant to continue that investigation after his death, she said.
This shows that border security affects the entire country. Minnesota sits 1,500 miles from the southern border, and yet the Star Tribune notes that human trafficking is a rising problem here. Last year, the legislature discovered that 43% of human service agencies in the state had provided assistance to victims of human trafficking -- and yet no one had ever been charged with the crime, at least until now.
Regardless of whether one agrees that normalization should accompany border security, the need for border control seems rather obvious. The ability of these coyotes to spirit women across the border to staff their brothels -- against the will of the women involved -- creates an almost incalculable cost of human misery and exploitation.