Two members of an alleged sex trafficking ring plan to plead guilty to federal charges, according to court documents.
In September, six people were indicted on charges of being part of a criminal conspiracy to identify those living illegally, and then move them across state lines from Georgia into Aiken County “with intent that such individuals engage in prostitution.”
On Monday, Donaciano Tecpa-Tecpa’s plea agreement was obtained by the Aiken Standard. On Tuesday, documents for Maria Garcia-Moreno, the named defendant in the case, were filed.
Moreno, Tecpa, Ruben Cabanas-Torres, Maria De Jesus Roque-Llanas and Esteban Acosta-Munoz were all alleged to be involved in a scheme that has been in operation since at least January 2010 through the end of July 2012, according to the indictment.
Women from Atlanta and other unnamed areas of Georgia would be recruited and then brought to South Carolina to become prostitutes, according to documents.
Court documents outlining the alleged conspiracy state that Moreno, Tecpa and Llanas travelled from the Atlanta area to Ridge Spring “for the purpose of engaging in prostitution” on July 23 of this year. On that day, according to Aiken County Sheriff’s Office records, the three were arrested and jailed on warrants for prostitution.
The federal indictment levies three charges: conspiracy, interstate transportation for the purpose of prostitution, and the harboring and transportation of aliens.
Moreno and Tecpa’s plea agreements state that they plan to plead guilty to interstate transportation for the purpose of prostitution. The other charges will be dropped, if the defendants adhere to all of the requirements of the plea agreements.
The requirements include taking a polygraph test, offering all information about criminal activity known to the defendants. Failure to meet these criteria will result in the agreements being voided and the government will lobby for a maximum sentence to be imposed and other charges could follow.