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Former fugitive convicted for ‘low cost’ sex ring in Atlanta


A fourth man has pleaded guilty in federal court for his part in trafficking three young women from Mexico and Guatemala to Atlanta for prostitution.

Severiano Martinez-Rojas, also known as “Negro” and “Gato,” was indicted in May 2013 but remained a fugitive until his arrest in Mexico in November 2015.

The co-defendants used false promises of love, legitimate work and a better life to bring three women unlawfully to the United States between 2006 and 2008, according to the Department of Justice. Once the women arrived in Atlanta, the men used violence, threats and intimidation to compel the young women to engage in prostitution in Georgia and Alabama.

The high-volume, low-cost business forced the young women to have sex, at times with upwards of 20 men a night in 15-minute increments, for payment of $30 to $35, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

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A Mexican national was lured to America in early 2006 and escaped in November 2007; two Guatemalan women were brought to the Atlanta area in March 2007 and escaped in early 2008.

Arturo Rojas-Coyotl, 28, and Odilon Martinez-Rojas, 43, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and alien harboring in October 2014. They were sentenced to 16 and nearly 22 years in prison, respectively, and ordered to pay $180,000 in restitution to the victims. A date for Martinez-Rojas’s sentencing has not been set. 

A fourth man, Daniel Garcia-Tepal, pleaded guilty to alien harboring in April 2014 and received a sentence of time served. 

The men are family members from Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Eight victims from Mexico and Guatemala were rescued during the course of the investigation, agency’s website says. 

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