Traveling across state lines for the purpose of prostitution has been a crime since the Mann Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1910. Crossing an international border for the same reason is a whole different matter altogether as an El Paso, Texas, couple recently discovered.
The man and woman, both in their 40s, admitted that from July 2011 till January 2013, they ran a prostitution business and persuaded five women to travel from Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas, to engage in sexual activity for financial gain.
Ronald and Maria Blake were arrested following an investigation by a human trafficking task force composed of members from various agencies.
Ronald Blake was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Maria Blake will do six months. Their sentences also include fines and supervised release. In addition, the judge ordered that the defendants’ El Paso residence be forfeited to the government.
In other illegal sex activity:
- A California man entered a guilty plea in connection with his operation of the myRedBook.com prostitution website. Eric Omuro, also known as “Red,” 53, of Mountain View, California, admitted that his website, previously known as sfredbook.com, hosted advertisements posted by prostitutes containing explicit photos, graphic descriptions of sexual services offered, and rates for the services. The ads were searchable by geographic location across the United States and Canada. Basic access to the website was free for both buyers and sellers, but enhanced options were available for a fee. Omuro will be sentenced in March 2015.
- A Cincinnati, Ohio, man was arrested after he drove a young woman from Cincinnati to Louisville, Kentucky, to engage in prostitution at a Red Roof Inn hotel. An investigation that followed revealed that Christopher Hisle, 45, was involved in other sex trafficking activity. He admitted that he forced women into acts of prostitution and kept some of the victims at his house against their will behind locked doors and boarded up windows. Only the front door of the house could be opened and Hisle kept the only key on his person. Hisle victimized at least 12 women and faces a minimum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in February 2015.