Documents show how prostitution ring worked

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — When Winston-Salem police and a federal agent searched a house in the 4300 block of Robinhood Road last March, they found a naked woman lying on a mattress, a federal court document shows.

The woman told the investigators that she was Mexican national and had entered the United States illegally. She said she was forced to work as a prostitute after she was fired from her job cleaning houses in Raleigh.

“She claimed to have provided commercial sexual services to numerous men throughout her stay,” the document says.

The woman said she had been at the house, which is between Shattalon Drive and Milhaven Road, for three days.

She then told the investigators that she had seen 19 male customers during her time there, and that each had paid her $30 for 15 minutes of sexual activity, the document says.

The investigators’ search of that house was part of their probe of an organized prostitution ring that moved woman and girls in and out of North Carolina, including to brothels in Winston-Salem. Their investigation led to the arrests of 40 people, including 30 in Winston-Salem.

Lorenzo Espinal Almonte, 34, was charged with interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution, according to the document. Almonte told investigators that he worked as the caretaker of brothel on Robinhood Road and would collect money from the men the woman had sex with.

A federal prosecutor dismissed the charge against Almonte in September 2013.

Lynne Klauer, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Greensboro, couldn’t be reached Friday to comment on why the charge was dismissed.

Almonte was among seven people whom city police identified as having key roles in the prostitution ring. Three of them were convicted of state charges related to prostitution and sentenced to short jail and prison terms.

Vincent Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement, declined to say whether the defendants and the victims are illegal immigrants, citing federal privacy laws.

Brock Nicholson, a special agent in charge with ICE in Atlanta, said that the prostitution ring preyed on vulnerable women from Mexico and Central America.

“Some were enticed,” Nicholson said. “They were smuggled into the United States and went right into prostitution. They have been victims for years. These women and girls are someone’s daughters, someone’s children. They are being raped as children and forced into prostitution.”

The federal court records of two other defendants involved in the ring provide details of how the ring’s leaders brought at least two women to Winston-Salem, forced them into prostitution and how one of the prostitutes, Ondina Lizeht Alonso-Hernandez, forced another woman into the trade.

Alonso-Hernandez, 32, of Southwin Drive was charged with the federal offense of human trafficking. Alonso-Hernandez was accused of recruiting, harboring, and transporting a woman to work as a prostitute in December 2010, federal court documents show.

A year later, Alonso-Hernandez pleaded guilty to that charge in U.S. District Court in Greensboro. Her attorney, Stacy Rubain of Winston-Salem told Judge Catherine Eagles that Alonso-Hernandez grew up in Honduras, where her father physically abused her, her mother and her brothers, according to another document.

Alonso-Hernandez later had two children by her boyfriend in Honduras, Rubain told the judge. Alonso-Hernandez’s father sent her to the United States because her boyfriend was physically abusing her.

Alonso-Hernandez was 19 at the time.

Rubain said that her client had legitimate jobs working in restaurants and bars in Florida. After her father died, though, Alonso-Hernandez turned to prostitution to earn money for her mother, who was diagnosed with cancer, Rubain said.

Alonso-Hernandez suffered another tragedy when her former boyfriend in Honduras killed one of her brothers.

Alonso-Herandez apologized to Eagles for her actions.

“I am not proud of what I did,” Alonzo-Hernandez said, according to transcript of her court hearing. “I am truly repentant for it. We are all human beings, and I think as human beings, we all do make mistakes.”

Eagles then sentenced Alonso-Hernandez to serve three years in prison, put her on two years of supervised probation after she is released and ordered her to surrender to a federal immigration officer to be deported, a court record shows.

In a related case, Mauro Aparicio-Hernandez, 51 of Fitch Street, pleaded guilty in federal court to the offense of importation of an alien for an immoral purpose.

Aparicio-Hernandez was accused forcing a woman to work as a prostitute for him in his house on Fitch Street in November 2010, a federal court document says. A judge sentenced Aparicio-Hernandez to serve two years in prison.

31 comments

  • B

    At least the house and yard was kept up nice. It looks a whole lot better than some of my neighbors yards. I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover.

  • mojorisin73

    You’ve got the global corporate controlled politicians on both sides behind signing NAFTA to thank for the on going problem we’re having with illegals today. It’s only going to get worse if we let them have their way with an open border North American Union. If you think human trafficking is bad now just wait until they let truck drivers south of the border start driving here unchecked. They’ll be hauling more than just manufactured goods here from China and Mexico.

  • Triple Aught

    As far as the,” Mexicants, do not expect much humanity from me on that. They have had the opportunity to improve their Country, but it was easier to come here and take away from what we built and paid into all of our working lives.
    Democrats and Republicans both are the blame, as they desperately need those 60 some odd million votes.
    I have paid well over a 150G into the Gooberment.
    I will die before I ever see any of that money again.
    And I have to drive on roads that Mexicants have made, costing me even more, as they cannot do it right the first time. I recently spent over 1,000 dollars for a complete front end rebuild.
    It is already being damaged due to the bumps and potholes where these, “Mexicants”, did shoddy road work. And the new part of Hwy 52 over Liberty Street, is already crumbling.
    As far as the houses they build, they do not even take the time to learn what the, “Crown Side” of a stick of lumber is.

    The Mexicants come here, and are given a road map on how to claim monies that Hundreds of Million, or even Billions of Americans have paid, (counting the living and dead).
    You folks had better be waking up and smelling the coffee…

    To those of you who did call me ignorant, and said that you have to be a citizen to claim those benefits, you need to keep up with what your Gooberment is, and has done. DSS stays packed with these people standing in line for Food Stamps, SSI, and Medicaid.
    And they are getting it, as they are now called Legal Aliens.

    God help you if you are looking for a job, as now, Mr. Obombus has signed it into law that companies will be fined 5.000 dollars, for each occurrence, of filling jobs with white people instead of, “legal Aliens”.
    And they cannot write it off on their taxes either.
    It now cost companies over 7,000 dollars to hire a white person, and they get to hire these so called, “legal aliens”, for nothing.

    The very people we elected,(?), have turned on us, and they are fully aware of what they have done.
    (Just say bye to Mr. Burr and Ms. Hagan)…

    So call me ignorant, racist, bigot or whatever.
    But know this,
    I do realize that good and bad has always came in all colors.
    I do not wish to start dragging Hispanics behind pick up trucks.
    Or skinning or starving them.

    But as far as for the politicians and banksters who are the real blame for this,… Where are the chains and the ropes…Anyone want to donate a souped up diesel pick up…?

    • JWS

      They would not have jobs if so called Americans would not hire them for cheap labor. If they could not find work most of them would go home.

    • Lopez

      You should read more and find out the true!!! We are hard working people… We are not taking nothing from you…. You should camplaint to the system the government knows who we are and where we are …r… If we are so stealing from this country…, they should do something to protect ur home!!! From “Mexicans” but let me clear this not EVERYONE who speaks Spanish Is Mexicas!!! …they could be from Puerto Rico!!! Good day Sr.

    • dewey

      God help you if you are looking for a job, as now, Mr. Obombus has signed it into law that companies will be fined 5.000 dollars, for each occurrence, of filling jobs with white people instead of, “legal Aliens”.
      And they cannot write it off on their taxes either.
      It now cost companies over 7,000 dollars to hire a white person, and they get to hire these so called, “legal aliens”, for nothing

      ….can you direct me to this executive order or law with a weblink?

    • JT

      Uh, you do know the story is not about “illegals,” but about human trafficking, right? Is it that your racism clouds your perception, or are you too dim to comprehend the “main idea” of what you read?

  • j

    They should take these people that are illegal and do what they do in other countries when you get caught doing something cut their tongue out or cut their fingers off

  • lesliearreaza

    It’s funny how you guys are focusing on the legal status of these people. I ask one thing, why does it matter? There are plenty of American born criminals, just as there are anywhere else. Their status has nothing to do with their crimes. And as far as them taking “your” jobs go, they aren’t taking anyone’s job, they, I mean WE are hard working people we work where we can, and if that means cheap labor that’s what we do and we do a hell of a job because we’d much rather work hard than stand out in the streets and beg. You can’t judge everyone based on a small group of people.

      • lesliearreaza

        Ever thought about the fact that “illegals” can’t be hired. Only people that will hire them are construction companies, and all the dirty jobs. Now you tell me when was the last time you saw an American that complains about jobs being stolen applying at one of those places. That’s right because they’re too prideful for those jobs, too good. And 11 million but out of those not everyone is a criminal, that’s like saying because of one criminal a whole country is made up of criminals. Again you can’t judge everyone based on the few rotten apples.

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