Four people accused of participating in a prostitution ring in Lexington that trafficked Latino women were indicted in federal court Friday.
Marco Antonio Flores-Benitez, 38; Roxana Serna-Olea, 3; Adrian Lezama-Ruiz, 26; and Roberto Salinas-Rivera, 35, were each charged with one count of conspiracy and four counts of persuading, inducing, and enticing an individual to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution.
Flores-Benitez, who court documents have identified as "somewhat of a leader" in the organization, is also charged with one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; and five counts of transporting an individual in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.
All the defendants are accused of serving as organizers of the ring or "handlers" of the prostitutes. They also face charges that they entered country illegally.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the prostitution ring offered prostitution delivery services in Louisville and Lexington and operated a brothel at Cross Keys Drive in Lexington.
The ring was busted by the FBI and Lexington police in November. Five people were initially charged in Fayette District Court before the case was picked up by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A fifth person originally accused of acting as a prostitute in the organization was not indicted in federal court.
Customers allegedly paid $30 for 15 minutes of sexual activity, and the women were expected by the defendants to engage in sexual intercourse with multiple customers per day.
The handlers delivered the prostitutes to customers in Fayette, Woodford, Oldham and Jefferson counties in Kentucky, the release said. It is also alleged that in October of 2011 Salinas-Rivera drove one of the females to Keeneland to offer prostitution services.
The indictment said the defendants advertised services in Spanish-speaking publications using code words for prostitution.
If convicted, each defendant could face 20 years in prison for conspiracy and prostitution charges. Flores-Benitez could face a prison sentence of between 15 years and life imprisonment for sex trafficking charges.
Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197, Twitter: @HLPublicSafety