Hugo Hernández-Velzquez, 45, aka “La galina” Or “The Hen” was arrested in Mexico in August and extradited to New York earlier this week To face a 12-count indictment Charging her and her two brothers with defamation, sex trafficking, interstate prostitution, foreign trafficking and other rap.
His brother, also known as 47-year-old Arcelia Hernández-Velzcze “La Gordis”, “Or” The Chunky Woman “and Ernesto Hernández-Velzequez, 40, who go by” Chapas “, were already busted in New York in November 2019 and awaiting trial.
Arsalia Hernández-Velázquez allegedly maintained a base for the ring in Queens.
“For nearly two decades, defendants lured young women into cruel lives of forced prostitution through false promises of a better life,” said the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Seth Doomerme in a statement. “This office will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to end the illegal exploitation of young women.”
Since 2001, the siblings have hunted at least six women in Mexico, according to a custody memo, luring them into romantic relationships with a declaration of love before abducting them.
The memo states that the victims were taken to the organization’s members’ home in Tensingo, Mexico, where they were held against their will and banned from contacting their families.
Women were then smuggled into America for a more prosperous life with traffickers. Instead, once in the state, women were transported to brothels and other locations in at least 16 states – from New York to Louisiana to Rhode Island – and forced into sex work.
“The organization’s conduct was incredibly violent and in scope,” Assistant US Attorney Margaret Lee wrote in the detention memo, urging Judge Vera Schnallon to grant Hugo Hernández-Velzquez bail.
“Along with his family, the defendant operated a business of exploiting and abusing women.”
If trafficking victims tried to leave the network, they were severely beaten and their families threatened with violence, prosecutors alleged. If women became pregnant, they were forced to have an abortion.
If convicted, Hugo Hernandez-Velczek faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
His lawyer Calvin Scholars did not immediately return a request for comment.