The Mexican cartels have taken over the methamphetamine trade and are establishing connections with local gangs. But, the gangs also take part in cartel-run human smuggling and trafficking rings, which often includes forcing adults and minors into prostitution. Gang members guard stash houses where people who have been smuggled into the country are held for ransom.
Mexican narcos have taken over the criminal underworld on the Texas streets as "acts of love" for their impoverished families according to former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and no doubt in a generation or two their descendants will become American politicians. After all, behind every great political dynasty is a sordid historical felony.
Local cops are warning that Mexican cartels have brought their dirty rackets -- drug trafficking, the flesh trade, business shakedowns, money laundering -- deep into the United States as reported by Kelly Riddel for The Washington Times: "'there’s no doubt they're spreading themselves very rapidly and very deep into our U.S. interior,' said Rusty Flemming who directed the documentary Drug Wars and has testified before Congress about the drug trade."
The gangbangers have become so entrenched in the sex trade in San Diego, CA that it is "almost at the level of organized crime" according to new study from the Urban Institute as reported by KPBS: "gangs running online prostitution, young girls being tricked or trafficked into sex work, and some victims being lured across the border into migrant brothels."
Three brothers from Tenancingo, Mexico got relatively light sentences -- one got 10 years, and the two others got 18 years -- for their roles in pimping out enslaved girls in New York as reported by John Marzulli for the Daily News: "'I can only describe my life in New York as five years in hell,' said a woman named Carmen who was forced into prostitution at the age of 14."
Several suspects from two San Diego gangs have been charged for their alleged roles in pimping out young women and underage girls across the United States pursuant to a joint venture as reported by Dana Littlefield for U-T San Diego: "prostitutes were sometimes branded as if they were property, with tattoos of gang monikers, a pimp’s name or even bar codes, according to the indictment."
Canada's laws against prostitution were struck down by its Supreme Court but Montreal police Chief Marc Parent and others fear that the ruling may enable those who coerce women and children into the sex trade as reported by Catherine Solyom for The Gazette.
Two cops in Washington, D.C. are suspected in separate cases of exploiting children.
Marc Washington, a seven-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, is accused of taking naked photos of a 15-year-old girl under pretext of conducting an official investigation as reported by Greta Kreuz for WJLA.
Meanwhile, the Department also is investigating allegations in an unrelated case that a police officer was pimping out young women including a 16-year-old girl as reported by Scott McCabe for D.C. Crime Stories: "the girl told police that the officer took fully nude pictures of her in sparkly high heels, and told her that for prostitution purposes her name would be 'Juicy,' court document said."
"We're seeing most of the cases coming from MS-13 with regards to sex
trafficking and we've seen a number of those cases from the past year,"
said John Torres, Special Agent in Charge with ICE Homeland Security
Investigations. "For us it's a disturbing trend."
Last October the Treasury
Department designated MS-13 as a transnational criminal organization under Executive Order 13581 which freezes
their U.S. assets and bans Americans from conducting business
with them, and in a follow-up move added six of the gang's purported leaders to the economic blacklist as reported by Jerry Seper for The Washington Times.
The new film Eden is based on Chong Kim's "story as a sex slave in the middle of the United States between 1995 and 1997," and in an interview with CNN she talks about the pervasive influence of organized crime and dirty politicians in the sex trade.