Prosecutor: 22 charged in human trafficking and prostitution ring bust in Bergen County

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office says that 22 people have been charged in connection with a human trafficking and prostitution ring bust in and around the county.

News 12 Staff

Feb 5, 2021, 3:45 AM

Updated 1,265 days ago

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The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office says that 22 people have been charged in connection with a human trafficking and prostitution ring bust in and around the county.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Hope in Darkness,” began in November. Authorities say that the people arrested were allegedly trafficking women throughout Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex and Passaic counties, as well as in Rockland and Queens counties in New York to engage in “commercial sex acts.”
Authorities say that the criminal ring would field calls for up to 12 or more hours a day from men soliciting women for sex. Drivers were used to transport the women to various locations to engage in sex acts. The women would be forced to work 12 or more hours each day and would meet up with 20-40 men during their “shifts.”
The prosecutor says that the organizers of the trafficking ring charged $35-$40 per 10-15-minute sessions with the women, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars. The money was deposited in bank accounts and used to pay mortgages and other property maintenance expenses on properties owned by the ring leaders in New Jersey and Florida.
Authorities have identified more than 50 women as victims of the trafficking ring. The women will be connected with services to help them obtain a life free from sexual servitude and abuse.
Anyone who may have information about the crime ring is asked to contact the Bergen County Prosecutor Office’s Tipline at 201-226-5532.

Prosecutor Announces Arrests in Operation Hope in Darkness



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