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Four arrested in Gwinnett prostitution case

Four Mexican nationals are arrested after a federal indictment alleges they coerced at least three women into the United States and then forced them into prostitution in Norcross and other parts of metro Atlanta.

The suspects, three of whom are related, were arrested Tuesday.

Arturo Rojas-Coyotl, Odilon Martinez-Rojas, and Severiano Martinez-Rojas are charged with sex trafficking and alien harboring.  Daniel Garcia-Tepal is charged with encouraging and inducing aliens to enter and reside in the U.S. unlawfully.

“The individuals were all from Mexico and the victims in the sex trafficking organization were young women from Mexico and Guatemala who had been smuggled into the United States across the U.S.-Mexico border,” says Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Coppedge.

She couldn’t disclose the alleged scheme that the men were using or how it came light, but Coppedge tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish it was a joint investigation by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

She says a fifth suspect is believed to be in Mexico.

“We hope that young women in Mexico and other countries will begin to learn not to fall for the men in these cases,” she says.  “We’ve had earlier cases here in Atlanta where they romance the young women... make them think they’re going to marry them and give them a better life.  They trick them into coming to the U.S. with them and then force them into prostitution.”

Coppedge encourages anyone else who may be a victim in this case or any others, whether here legally or not, to notify authorities.

The men are facing between 15 years and life in prison if convicted.

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