Miami Beach man sentenced to 10 years in prison for operating prostitution enterprise
Miguel Hernandez, 50, pimped out foreign nationals, Miami-area residents
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for operating a prostitution enterprise that profited from the sexual services of women from Latin America and Miami-area residents.
Miguel Hernandez, 50, pleaded guilty May 11 to four counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to promote an unlawful activity and four counts of importing and attempting to import an alien for prostitution purposes.
Prosecutors said Hernandez ran his business, called International Playmates, out of a Fort Lauderdale hotel.
Prosecutors said Hernandez and others, including his brother, Eduardo Hernandez, began recruiting women in 2010 from other countries, including Spain, Colombia, Venezuela and other Latin American countries.
The men paid for the women's flights to the U.S., completed their immigration paperwork and coached them on what to say to custom officials at the airport.
Prosecutors said Hernandez openly advertised his business online and deposited cash proceeds into multiple bank accounts.
According to court documents, Hernandez used physical force against at least two women from Spain and prostituted at least three minors.
Both men and women are accused of assisting Hernandez in his enterprise, including people from other countries who recruited the prostitutes on behalf of Hernandez, prosecutors said.
"This case is just one example of the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams' steadfast dedication to the prosecution of those who exploit others for personal financial gain," said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, of the Southern District of Florida. "The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida commends the collective commitment from our law enforcement partners to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities from victimization."
Authorities said Hernandez was previously convicted and sentenced in Spain for immigration fraud offenses, but he fled to the U.S. before serving his sentence.
His brother pleaded guilty on May 3 for his role in the illegal enterprise and was sentenced last week to 10 months in prison.
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