New York - Jean Noriega, 48, Enna Gonzalez, 53, and John Oyola, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, were charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. The charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey.

According to the allegations in the complaint, the defendants conspired to coerce multiple women to engage in commercial sex in New Jersey and New York. Specially, Noriega used violence, threats of violence, threats of drug withdrawal, and other means, to compel the victims to engage in commercial sex for his profit, including after his incarceration in New York in 2017. Oyola and Gonzalez helped Noriega control the victims through various means, collect the proceeds, and otherwise carry out his sex trafficking activities while Noriega was incarcerated.  

Noriega, who is incarcerated in New York on a previous conviction, made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks in Syracuse federal court in the Northern District of New York. Oyola made his initial appearance Aug. 7, 2019, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court. Gonzalez appeared before Judge Mannion on Aug. 5.

The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until convicted. If convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, the defendants face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and mandatory restitution. 

This case is being investigated by the FBI and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Human Trafficking Unit. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sophie Reiter for the District of New Jersey and Trial Attorney Kate Hill for the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.