DA announces charges in alleged E. Whiteland sex trafficking of minors ring

The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against eight individuals Wednesday related to an alleged sex trafficking operation out of East Whiteland, luring and holding adults and minors — including a 14-year-old — against their will and forcing them to engage in prostitution.

“The allegations in this case are difficult to digest because of the calculated and deviant sexual exploitation of the two victims,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said in a statement. “Our office will continue the investigation to determine if there are other victims of this human sex trafficking organization. We encourage anyone with further information to contact our office. These defendants will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Three individuals face the most serious charges: that of having run the operation and and lured and detained the victims: Dimas Omar Cornejo Hernandez, also known as “Adonys,” age 34; Franklin Rivera Mendieta, also known as “Mono,” age 25; and Josue Sibrian Sanchez, also known as “Sibrian,” age 33, for the charges of a Corrupt Organization that engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that included Trafficking in Minors, Involuntary Servitude, Criminal Conspiracy, Kidnapping, Rape, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, Promoting Prostitution, and related offenses at various locations in East Whiteland, between February 2020 and May 2020. The three were taken into custody recently, authorities said.

Five other individuals who are alleged to have paid to have sex with the minor child and/or adult victim were also arrested in East Whiteland Township. They are: Diana Ordonez, age 25; Luis Cabrera Peralta, age 29; Nestor Ruiz, age 45; Juan Humberto Ortiz Ortiz, age 35; and Carlos Villatoro Gallegos, age 23.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged situation when the what would appear to be the youngest victim reached out to family over social media for help. The 14-year-old’s message, “I don’t want to be here anymore,” sparked an investigation that uncovered the alleged ring that

East Whiteland Township police, along with the Chester County Detectives and Homeland Security Investigations, rescued the 14-year-old victim at a Wawa parking lot in Malvern on May 30, after she was held against her will for weeks at various locations in the area. Investigators say they subsequently learned that she and an 18-year-old were both victims in an alleged human sex trafficking organization run by three men, as well as other unidentified and unnamed individuals.

Authorities said these codefendants engaged in a criminal conspiracy and criminal course of conduct by recruiting, enticing, soliciting, transporting, obtaining and maintaining individuals who they benefited from financially while they were subjected to sexual servitude, as well as other sexual assaults and criminal activity.

Investigators revealed the results of their investigation Wednesday — and what led to the arrests and rescue of the victims involved.

A 14-year-old child (“Victim 1”), reported missing from Maryland since early May 2020, sent a message to a friend to report that she was being held against her will and sold for sex. Her friend contacted police to report the statement. On May 28, Victim 1 sent a Facebook message to her mother, stating that she “didn’t want to be here anymore” and asked that she pick her up at a Wawa on Lancaster Avenue in East Whiteland.

Her mother contacted police detailing where she was to meet her daughter.

In the early hours of May 30, law enforcement rescued Victim 1 who said she’d been allegedly held against her will and forced to have sex for money with as many as 4-5 individuals per day at three different locations in East Whiteland. Victim 1 was reportedly told that she and her mother would be killed if she did not comply.

Victim 1 told investigators that she was originally recruited by a female known to her as “Tiny,” a 17-year old victim from Camden, NJ, at a party in Washington, DC. After communicating through Snapchat, Tiny asked Victim 1 if she wanted to make money and then picked Victim 1 up in Maryland with one of the codefendants. Victim 1 was driven to an apartment in Malvern, where she was allegedly forced to perform oral sex on one of the co-defendants as a means of “breaking” and “testing” her for the work she would be required to perform.

She said Tiny and one of the co-defendants took pictures of her that were used to advertise that men could pay to have sex with her, and they took her to Walmart to buy “sexy clothes.” Another co-defendant acted as a doorman who reportedly collected money as individuals arrived for sex. He then waited while they had sex. Victim 1 also stated that she was told to give a fake name and fake age if asked by anyone.

While interviewing witnesses regarding the abuse of Victim 1, a second victim was discovered – an 18-year-old (“Victim 2”), who said she had been held against her will by the co-defendants during February and March. Victim 2 said she met a female through Snapchat who introduced her to one of the codefendants on the premise that he had a job for her working in a bar.

Victim 2 was allegedly picked up in Virginia and brought to East Whiteland where she was forced to have sex for money with numerous individuals. Victim 2 told investigators she was also sexually assaulted by one of the co-defendants and threatened with bodily harm if she attempted to leave. She was also forced to ingest drugs on various occasions. One of the co-defendants collected money from individuals who paid to have sex with her and also served as a doorman. She was held for approximately three weeks before she was able to escape.

The arrests came as a result of the work of local, county and federal authorities.

“We are very grateful for the persistence and dedication of the East Whiteland Township Police Department, Chester County Detectives and Homeland Security Investigations,” Ryan said. “Through their hard work and tireless efforts we were able to dismantle this criminal organization that preyed on women and children for their own financial gain. They helped rescue a child and prevent further predatory behavior.”

Cash bail for the following co-defendants was set at:

Josue Sibrian-Sanchez, $150,000; Franklin Rivera-Mendieta, $750,000; Dimas Cornejo-Hernandez $500,000; Diana Ordonez, $200,000; Luis Cabrera Peralta, $200,000; Nestor Ruiz, $100,000; Juan Humberto Ortiz Ortiz, $150,000; and Carlos Villatoro Gallegos, $100,000. All are being held at Chester County Prison and have ICE detainers except for Rivera-Mendieta. The preliminary hearings are scheduled for July 9, 2020, before Magisterial District Judge John Bailey, 15-4-03, in Exton.

This case is being investigated by the East Whiteland Township Police Department and the Chester County Detectives. Deputy District Attorney Erin O’Brien of the Child Abuse Unit is the assigned prosecutor.

Any person with information regarding this investigation should contact Chester County Detectives at 610-344-6866.

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