Two men sentenced in Atlanta for international sex ring

Two men were sentenced to 16 and nearly 22 years in prison Thursday for trafficking three young women from Mexico to Atlanta for prostitution.

Arturo Rojas-Coyotl, 28, and Odilon Martinez-Rojas, 43, both of Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, were both also ordered to pay $180,000 in restitution to the victims.

“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery — period. No matter the label, the use of violence, intimidation, psychological coercion, deception, or fear to exploit fellow human beings is repugnant,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, the former U.S. Attorney in north Georgia. “The long sentences handed down today are just one of the latest examples of the Justice Department’s unshakable resolve to dismantle human trafficking networks and prosecute those who would commit these unspeakable crimes against some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

The men pleaded guilty in October to three counts of sex trafficking. In early 2006, Rojas-Coyotl lured a young Mexican national using false promises of love, legitimate work and a better life to induce her to travel with him to the United States, according to the indictment and documents filed in court.

But instead, Rojas-Coyotl and Martinez-Rojas used physical violence, threats, intimidation, deception and psychological manipulation to compel her to engage in prostitution in Georgia and Alabama, until she escaped in November 2007, according to the court papers.

In March 2007, Rojas Coyotl and Martinez used the same method to lure two young Guatemalan women to the Atlanta area and forced them to work as prostitutes in Georgia and Alabama before they escaped in early 2008.

Rojas Coyotl and Martinez ran a high-volume, low-cost business compelling the young women to have sex, at times with upwards of 20 men a night in 15-minute increments, for payment of $30 to $35, according to federal authorities.

“Sex trafficking is a horrendous crime that robs the victims of their freedom and dignity, leaving them feeling isolated and powerless,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn for the Northern District of Georgia. “This case hits new lows in depravity given the number of times these girls were victimized each day.”

A third co-defendant, Daniel Garcia-Tepal, pleaded guilty to related immigration offenses. A fourth co-defendant, Severiano Martinez-Rojas, remains a fugitive, federal authorities said.