Nine alleged Bloods gang members were indicted on Wednesday for multiple sex trafficking charges, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
The gang members, who are all reportedly Bronx residents were charged with sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and additional charges for running a sex trafficking ring out of multiple Bronx motels and other hotels around the city.
“These defendants, who are allegedly part of the Hunts Point Family Bloods subset, ran a sex trafficking ring from Bronx motels and manipulated their victims through drugs and violence,” said District Attorney Darcel Clark. “The defendants used social media to get to the victims, preying on teens and young women. My Human Trafficking Unit is helping these victims through the trauma and will continue to dismantle these terrible operations that demean and damage victims.”
The DA’s office identified the alleged gang members as Angel Cano, 22, Luis Cano aka “Lou,” 23, Brandon Diaz aka “Billz,” 27, Elvis Dominguez aka “LV,” 24, Ashley Garcia, 19, Andrew Garcia aka “Drew,” 23, Shaquille Hernandez aka “Budda,” 22, Eliana Rivadeneira aka “Faith,” 23 and Abigail Rodriguez, 31.
For a six month period between May 6 and Nov. 19, the investigation found that the defendants were allegedly running a sex trafficking ring. The covert operation was run from various Bronx motels including the 7 Day Inn, 2338 Bruckner Blvd., Best Western Plus, 926 Sedgwick Ave., Pelham Garden Motel, 1990 East Gun Hill Rd. and the Holiday Motel on the New England Thruway.
The group also reportedly operated in hotels around New York City, forcing their victims to meet with men at private locations.
In order to lure victims, the sex trafficking ring used social media and promises of money to target innocent individuals. They took photos of young girls and used those images in advertisements on prostitution-related websites. The defendants allegedly acted as middlemen and told the men where they could meet with the victims and what sexual acts they could expect.
The investigation revealed that the defendants allegedly beat some of the victims, punching, slapping and throwing the girls to the ground. Other horrifying details found that the victims were drugged with Xanax and Percocet in order to sedate them.
Garcia, Rivadeneira and Rodriguez were granted supervised release and are due back in court March 24, 2021. If convicted of the top charge, several defendants face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.