Six people who have been charged with human trafficking have been arrested in the United States and Mexico, according to reports on Tuesday from U.S. authorities. Currently, authorities are searching for a seventh individual.
In a joint release, U.S. Justice Secretary Loretta Lynch and District Attorney of Manhattan Preet Bharara said that the formal accusation, which was filed last September, was just recently opened last week. The charges are against members of a network of human sex traffickers that has operated, largely as a family business, since 2000.
They said that the accused have exploited, threatened and physically and sexually abused adults and children in the United States and Mexico.
Bharara explained that the trafficking was “brutal and predatory” and mentioned that the accused “supposedly raped, tortured and enslaved their victims.” Minors were often separated from their families.
“Human trafficking is a corrosive and degrading practice that goes against human rights and the most basic standards of human dignity,” added Lynch.
The six were arrested last week. Two were detained in the U.S. and the other four in Mexico.