Isaias Flores-Mendez, the reputed leader of the sex slavery ring that lured young Mexican women to brothels in New York City and the Hudson Valley, has a history of convictions as a pimp and has been kicked out of the United States several times, according to court papers.
In court papers obtained by Newsday, federal prosecutors described Flores-Mendez as a career sex trafficker and a repeated violator of immigration laws.
"The defendant has six convictions in the United States, including convictions for promoting prostitution and possession of a forged instrument," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Wong wrote in court papers. "The defendant has also already been removed from the United States on three occasions."
A lawyer for Flores-Mendez, S. Michael Musa-Obregon, did not return calls seeking comment.
Flores-Mendez, 40, was arrested by New York City police Oct. 19 on a charge of carrying a forged instrument and has been held at Rikers Island as an undocumented immigrant since then.
But, federal prosecutors said, he continued to run the sex slavery business that used romance and violence to bring young Mexican women and teenagers from Tenancingo, a small town in southeastern Mexico, to brothels in Queens, Newburgh, Yonkers and Poughkeepsie, where they were forced to have sex with as many as 30 men a day, prosecutors said. He had operated the brothels since about 2008, federal prosecutors said.
His brother, Bonifacio Flores-Mendez, 33, was his conduit to the brothel business, prosecutors said, and federal agents intercepted jailhouse phone calls during which the two men discussed the continued operation of the brothel business.
The two men were among 13 people charged Tuesday in connection with the alleged human trafficking ring.
Isaias Flores-Mendez, a Mexican national, already pleaded guilty on March 13 to one federal charge of illegal re-entry of a deported alien and is awaiting sentencing, according to court documents.
Isaias Flores-Mendez remains held without bail, as do two other accused members of the ring who, like Flores-Mendez, were already in custody.
His brother, Bonifacio Flores-Mendez and seven others accused ring members were ordered by a U.S. magistrate judge in Manhattan to be held without bail. One defendant, Juana Lucas-Sanchez, 36, was presented in Delaware federal court and released on bail with an order to appear in Manhattan federal court May 6.
The 13th defendant, Panfilo Flores-Mendez, 39, a brother of Isaias Flores-Mendez and Bonifacio Flores-Mendez, remains at large.
The defendants are due back in court on May 15 and May 30.