The Homeland Security probe into this particular sex trafficking organization began when a nongovernmental organization referred a trafficking victim to Homeland Security Investigations.
The victim had been smuggled into the United States and forced into prostitution in June 2000 by a member of the Granados family. She provided a detailed account of the physical and sexual assaults she suffered by a member of the Granados organization and threats made to the safety of her children when she said she no longer wanted to work as a prostitute.
Homeland Security special agents identified and rescued 25 additional victims – all Mexican nationals – and 19 additional traffickers or smugglers, all members or associates of the Granados family.
Family members threatened
Several of the victims were sexually assaulted by their traffickers, others were physically assaulted, and all were threatened with harm to their family members.
Members of the Granados family would befriend or romance young, uneducated women before pressuring them or coercing them into prostitution in Mexico.
They would then smuggle their victims into the United States and transport them to the New York City area to work as prostitutes. Granados family members would take all money earned by the victims and maintain control over the victims through physical and sexual abuse and threats of harm to the victims’ families.
Loss of their children
Several of the victims had children with their traffickers and were threatened with the loss of their children if they did not continue to work as prostitutes and earn money for the Granados family.
Paulino Ramirez-Granados had been on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s most wanted list since 2010. Ramirez-Granados was arrested March 31, 2015, in Tenancingo, Mexico, following a joint investigation between Homeland Security and the Mexican Federal Police.
He was charged in the Eastern District of New York with sex trafficking, alien smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy to import aliens.
To date, 13 members of the Granados organization have been indicted in New York on sex trafficking charges. Twelve have been arrested, and one – Raul Granados-Rendon – remains a fugitive.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Granados-Rendon should contact an ICE office or call the national hotline, 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423), as soon as possible. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Tips can also be submitted online at www.ICE.gov.tips.