The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has arrested and charged 14 people – purportedly members of the Gambino crime family – for murder, racketeering and other crimes. Seven of the named defendants have been charged with sex trafficking. According to the indictment excerpted in the prosecution’s press release (here):
[Four of the accused men are] charged with sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor. From 2008 to 2009, the defendants operated a prostitution business where young women and girls:including an underage girl who was 15 years old at the time:were exploited and sold for sex. The defendants first recruited various young women and girls:ages 15 through 19:to work as prostitutes. The defendants then advertised the prostitution business on Craigslist and other websites. The defendants drove the women to appointments in Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey, and Staten Island to have sex with clients. The defendants then took approximately 50 percent of the money paid to the young women. The defendants also made the women available for sex to gamblers at a weekly, high-stakes poker games that [one of the indicted men] and his crew ran.
The head of the New York office of the FBI commented to the New York Times (here) that “[n]o crime seems too depraved to be exploited [by the accused] if it was a money maker, including the sexual exploitation of a 15-year old.”