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B altimore , Maryland — A federal jury convicted German de Jesus Ventura, age 35, a citizen of El Salvador and an illegal alien residing in Capitol Heights, Maryland of conspiring to transport and entice females to travel interstate for prostitution; transporting females for prostitution; enticing females to travel interstate for prostitution; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; and possessing a gun in furtherance of sex trafficking.
According to evidence presented during the two week trial, since at least March through November , Ventura and Fuertes ran brothels in Annapolis and Easton, Maryland. Ventura, the ringleader, employed Fuertes to advertise and manage the brothels, and the two men shared the cash proceeds of the prostitution business.
The defendants recruited and employed prostitutes, many of whom were aliens present in the U. Ventura arranged for vans and other vehicles to transport females within Maryland and across state lines to engage in prostitution.
Ventura assaulted and threatened to use violence against one prostitute to coerce her continued participation in prostitution, from which Fuertes financially benefitted. Ventura and Fuertes also threatened to use violence against competitor pimps. On November 3, , Ventura arranged for the assault of a competitor pimp with a pistol grip shotgun. In addition to these threats, Ventura reported criminal activity of the pimps in order to divert the attention of law enforcement and facilitate his own prostitution activities.
On March 13, , Ventura falsely reported a kidnaping and rape to the police in order to falsely implicate another pimp with the crimes. Ventura also claimed responsibility for the murder of competitor pimp Ricardo Ramirez Riva on September 13, , in order to intimidate the competition, as well as his own employees and prostitutes. Ventura also sought to intimidate members of the community who assisted his prostitutes. On September 1, Ventura called and threatened to kill a family who provided temporary housing to one of his prostitutes after she was arrested.