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US charges seven in connection with sex trafficking ring

The United States has charged seven men with sex trafficking following 16 years of crackdown against an international gang across the US-Mexico border.

Prosecutors said six of the suspected members of the sex trafficking organization known as STO were arrested last week and one remains at large.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara announced the arrests on Tuesday.

“Human trafficking is a corrosive and degrading practice that goes against both the rule of law and the most basic standards of human dignity,” Lynch said.

“This indictment is yet another sign of the Justice Department’s steadfast determination to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes, and of our unshakeable commitment to helping survivors reclaim their futures and restart their lives,” she added.

Lynch also commended Mexican law enforcement for its “commitment to combating human trafficking.”

Four of the men indicted were taken in custody by Mexican authorities, and two were arrested in the US.

The sex trafficking ring has been exploiting adults and children in both nations since 2000, authorities say.

Gang members have used false promises, threats, physical and sexual violence to force women and girls into prostitution, the US Justice Department said in a statement.

Fourteen victims of the gang organization were identified in the 21-count indictment read out in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.



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