Herndon Man Pleads Guilty to Running a Prostitution Ring

by Catherine Douglas Moran January 22, 2019 at 10:15 am 16 Comments

A Herndon man pleaded guilty on Friday to running a prostitution ring with a man from Sterling.

After a nearly year-long investigation, 32-year-old Luis Bonilla-Hernandez of Sterling and 23-year-old Eliazar Duran Mota of Herndon were charged in July with two counts of felony receiving money from earnings of a female prostitute and two misdemeanor counts of using vehicles to promote prostitution, Reston Now previously reported.

The two men, who ran the prostitution business out of their homes, picked up women each week from Union Station before transporting them around northern Virginia to commercial sex customers — charging between $30 and $40 each for dozens of “commercial sex transactions,” according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“The defendants would advertise the women with business cards purporting to be tied to an automobile shop, and they would tell Hispanic patrons via word of mouth that the cards related to prostitution,” according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Police found evidence of prostitution and over $14,000 in cash when they searched Bonilla-Hernandez’s house.

Duran Mota and Bonilla-Hernandez both pleaded guilty in connection to the prostitution of five adults and to one count of interstate travel or transportation in aid of a racketeering enterprise.

They each face up to five years in prison. Their sentencing is set for April 12.

More from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia:

Two men pleaded guilty today to running a prostitution business that catered to the Hispanic population in northern Virginia over the past three years.

According to court documents, Luis Bonilla-Hernandez, 32, of Sterling, and Eliazar Duran Mota, 23, of Herndon, ran the prostitution business out of their homes. Each week, the defendants would obtain a woman to work in prostitution for a week at a time. The women, known as “Treinteras,” would travel by bus to Union Station in Washington, D.C. from states such as Pennsylvania and New York. The defendants then picked up the women from Union Station and transported them throughout northern Virginia to commercial sex customers. The defendants would advertise the women with business cards purporting to be tied to an automobile shop, and they would tell Hispanic patrons via word of mouth that the cards related to prostitution.

The women performed over a dozen commercial sex transactions each day, charging between $30 and $40 each time. After the prostitution dates, the women were required to turn all of their money over to the defendants, with a portion of the proceeds returned to the women at the end of the week. After a woman worked for a week, the defendants would switch out their “inventory” by obtaining a new woman from Union Station to work in prostitution throughout northern Virginia.

When law enforcement executed a search warrant on Bonilla Hernandez’s house, they recovered evidence of prostitution and over $14,000 in cash. Both defendants pleaded guilty in connection with the prostitution of five adult victims.

Bonilla-Hernandez and Duran Mota pleaded guilty to one count of interstate travel or transportation in aid of a racketeering enterprise. The defendants each face a maximum of five years in prison when sentenced on April 12, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This matter was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of FBI agents, along with detectives from the Fairfax County Police, Arlington County Police, Prince William County Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police, Alexandria City Police, Washington Metropolitan Police, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, George Mason University Police, United States Marshal’s Service, and agents of various Office of Inspector Generals. This matter was brought to the task force by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen C. Cain is prosecuting the case, with significant assistance provided by the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Photo via LCSO

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