Police: Human trafficking ring busted in New Jersey, 11 victims smuggled from Mexico

New Jersey Police say a four-month investigation led to the "dismantling" of a human trafficking network and the arrest of six suspects.

Eleven female victims, including at least one juvenile, were smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico and forced into prostitution, according to police.

The investigation began in January when officials reportedly obtained information that a juvenile was being trafficked out of a residence in Trenton. Two female victims were found inside during a search of the house, as well as two suspects.

Police say one of the victims, a juvenile, was smuggled from Mexico to Texas under the belief she would be working in a restaurant. 

However, she was involuntarily forced into human sex trafficking and transported to New Jersey, where police say she was forced into prostitution in Asbury Park and Trenton.

Months later in May, nine more female victims were found at various residences in Trenton. Police say all the victims were led to believe they would be provided legitimate employment.

Paulino Macolas-Aguirre, 43, was identified by police as the ringleader of the human trafficking operation. He was taken into custody and charged with human trafficking, promoting organized street crime, promoting child prostitution, facilitating human trafficking, sexual assault, money laundering, endangering the welfare of a child, maintain a house of prostitution and conspiracy.

"The trafficking of human beings is horrific, particularly when it involves the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and girls lured to this country under the promise of a better life," said Acting Attorney General Platkin.

Six suspects have been arrested in total, including Daniel Bonito Camara, 55; Edy Villeda Estrada, 39; Efran Melocastillo, 30; Jose Gabriel Camara Perico, 30; Laura Macolas Aguirre, 44; and Macolas-Aguirre.

Two more suspects, Daniel Handerson Camara Perico, 31; and Daniela Penco-Camara, 28, remain at large.