Five arrests made, seven women rescued from suburban sex trafficking ring
Editor's note: This story has been updated with corrected information from the Kane County state's attorney's office. Officials initially stated 10 victims were rescued, but the actual number is seven. Charges against the five defendants were also updated with correct information.
St. Charles police, along with other law enforcement agencies, on Thursday announced the arrest of five people on felony charges of involuntary servitude and the rescue of seven women who were being trafficked in brothels in St. Charles, South Elgin, Elgin, Hanover Park, Palatine and Chicago.
At a news conference at police headquarters, St. Charles Police Chief James Keegan and Kane County State's Attorney Jamie Mosser described how a report in early spring of a brothel operating in a west side apartment in St. Charles led to a monthslong investigation of a human trafficking organized crime syndicate.
Keegan said they served search warrants on all the locations, arrested four men and one woman and took the 10 women into protective custody Wednesday morning. The women, all from South America, ranged in age from their early 20s to early 30s and one was treated a hospital, he said.
"They were brought into the United States for the sole purposes of being victimized and exploited," Keegan said. "Some of these charges are Class X felonies. This sends a strong message to those contemplating similar behavior that this will not be tolerated in our communities, by law enforcement or prosecutors."
Mosser said human trafficking is defined in the law as the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex acts.
"Every year, millions of men, women and children are trafficked worldwide - and this includes Kane County," Mosser said. "It happens in every community with victims of all ages, races, genders and nationalities. This is a systemic problem that needs our focus in law enforcement on stopping the traffickers from continuing their criminal enterprises."
Those charged were brothers Christian Hurtado, 27, and Daniel Hurtado, 26, of the 500 block of Holly Street, Elgin; Rigoberto Parra, 46, of the 1600 block of North Marywood Avenue, Aurora; Martha P. Hurtado-Hernandez, 57, and Hector Briseno, 54, both of the 4700 block of South Wood Street Chicago, officials said.
Bail for all of the suspects was set at $5 million. Each would have to post $500,000 to be released pending trial.
The most serious charge each face, aggravated involuntary servitude, is a Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years if convicted.