#Prisonworld News – Modern Day Brothel Madam BUSTED
via Ny Daily News
Brothel madam ‘Tencha’ gets life sentence for international sex trafficking ring at Houston cantina
Hortencia “Tencha” Medeles, 70, was convicted in April of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, conspiracy to harbor aliens, aiding and abetting to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the FBI.
Twelve women, some of whom were as young as 14 at the time, testified that pimps lured them to a 17-room brothel upstairs from Medeles’ Las Palmas II bar on Telephone Rd. Prosecutors said the women were often beaten and forced to have sex in an operation that netted Tencha over $1.6 million in its last 19 months.
“These were human beings — women and children — who were treated as a commodity,” Kenneth Magidson, the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Texas, said in a statement. “They came from their home countries hoping for a better life, only to be enslaved and forced into unspeakable acts. This is a local, national and international issue, but also a humanitarian issue.”
Medeles drew the toughest sentence out of 40 people prosecuted in the case, and investigators believe the bordello attracted over 64,000 johns over 19 months ending in 2013, the Houston Chronicle reported. Her daughter, her brother and two of her sisters pleaded guilty to helping her run the sex trafficking den in different locations for over a decade, prosecutors said.
The FBI is still searching for a fugitive in the case, Alfonso Diaz-Juarez, 45, who also goes by the nicknames “Ponco” and “El Grenas.” The agency has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to him in a series of billboards posted around the Houston area.
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- Houston is a major hub for sex trafficking
- Teenagers are often smuggled/trafficked into the U.S. from Mexico, raped, beaten, taken in by pimps who promised them marriage and a better life
- Their families would be threatened or killed of they tried to escape or escaped
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