Leonardo Jimenez-Rodriguez was extradited to the United States yesterday and is scheduled to be arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn on six counts of indictment sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and related offenses. The defendant was arrested in May 2022 in Mexico following a joint investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Mexico City, New York HSI and the Mexican Federal Police.
The defendant is charged in a superseding indictment along with his brother and co-defendant, Marcos Jimenez-Rodriguez, who was previously arrested in the United States. The defendant’s sister, Melisa Jimenez-Rodriguez, was previously arrested in the United States and is awaiting sentencing on the charge of distributing the proceeds of a prostitution business.
The extradition and charges were announced by Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge, HSI New York.
“Allegedly, using false promises of love and support, the defendant and his sisters brutally trafficked women between Mexico and the United States for over twenty years,” said U.S. Attorney United. “Stopping human trafficking and ensuring that traffickers face justice for crimes against their victims are priorities of this Office and our law enforcement partners.”
Mr. Peace praised HSI New York’s Human Trafficking Unit for leading the investigation of the Jimenez-Rodriguez Sex Trafficking Organization; he thanked the HSI Mexico City Attaché Office, the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the State Department, Interpol, the Department of International Affairs of the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico, the Law Enforcement Unit of the State of Tlaxcala, the Office of the Attorney General, Mexican Interpol, and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for their assistance; and praised the Mexican government for its role in promoting bilateral anti-trafficking enforcement efforts. Mr. Peace also acknowledged the non-governmental victim service providers and advocates for their dedicated efforts to restore and improve the lives of trafficking survivors and their families.
“Yesterday’s extradition is the result of years of extraordinary cooperation between law enforcement agencies spanning multiple countries and investigative jurisdictions. Leonardo Jimenez-Rodriguez was allegedly part of a transnational human trafficking organization that offered young women and girls a chance at a better life before brutally attacking them in forced sex work with no way to return home,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge of Arvelo. “HSI is grateful to our colleagues with the HSI Mexico City Attaché Office and our many partners in the United States and the Government of Mexico for their cooperation and teamwork that makes investigations like this possible.”
As alleged in the superseding indictment and other court filings, between 1997 and May 2018, Leonardo Jimenez-Rodriguez was a member of a family organization based in New York and Tenancingo, Mexico, that used force, fraud and coercion to sexually assault young women. to cause in Mexico. engage in prostitution in the United States (“Jimenez-Rodriguez Trafficking Organization”). Leonardo Jimenez-Rodriguez, along with other relatives, lured victims into romantic relationships through false promises of love and support and pressured the victims to travel to the United States with promises of a better life. After Leonardo Jimenez-Rodriguez and other members of the Jimenez-Rodriguez Trafficking Organization illegally smuggled young Mexican women into the United States, they used brutal physical beatings, intimidation, psychological abuse, and threats to coerce them. force or attempt to force the women to work as. prostitutes in New York City and elsewhere. The defendant is also accused of distributing the illicit proceeds of the sex trafficking and prostitution business.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of the sex trafficking charges, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The investigation, prosecution, bilateral enforcement action and extradition of the defendants arrested in Mexico were coordinated through the US-Mexico Bilateral Trafficking in Persons Enforcement Initiative. Since 2009, the Department of Justice and Homeland Security has collaborated with Mexican law enforcement counterparts in the Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative to more effectively dismantle human trafficking networks operating across the US-Mexico border, traffickers on bringing people to justice, restoring rights and dignity. victims of human trafficking and reuniting victims with their children. These efforts have resulted in successful prosecutions in both Mexico and the United States, including US federal prosecutions of over 175 defendants in multiple cases in Georgia, New York, Florida and Texas, as well as numerous federal prosecutions Mexico and related states regarding sex traffickers. The extradition in this case is also the latest development in the Eastern District of New York’s comprehensive anti-trafficking program, which has so far indicted more than 100 sex-trafficking defendants; helped nearly 200 victims, including over 50 minors, reunited 19 child victims with their mothers, and obtained restitution orders of over $4 million for trafficking victims.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Erin M. Reid, Gillian Kassner, Tara B. McGrath, and Lauren Bowman are leading the prosecution, assisted by Paralegal Specialist Ryan Costley.
The New Defender:
Previously Arrested Defendant:
Queens, New York
Queens, New York
EDNY Docket No. 21-CR-11 (S-1) (EK)