International Immigrant Smuggling Ring Busted By New Jersey Feds

NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) — Federal officials in New Jersey have arrested six suspects in connection with a human smuggling ring that had been running since 2008.

Authorities say this was a well-connected, international human smuggling ring.

“We estimated between 500 and 1,000 people have been smuggled in by this,” said Homeland Security investigations deputy Mark Witdzal.

Six suspects are accused of bringing in Brazilians and others, either through Mexico or the Caribbean islands.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports: Officials Say This Was ‘A Huge Operation’

Witdzal says if the victims could not pay the $13,000 to $25,000 fee, they would work off their debt in strip clubs or as prostitutes.

“They weren’t necessarily forced into prostitution, but it was something available to them,” said Witdzal.

He says the operation had ties to Texas, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Is enough being done to prevent illegal immigration and human trafficking? Sound off in our comments section.

More from Levon Putney
  • FedUp

    yea, just what we need — more illegal immigrants living off the taxpayer.

  • angry NYer

    yeah so much for stalling immigration reform where people cant come to the states legally.. too much posturing and pandering.. and these “americans” are hypocrites..

    • Patriot

      You have no idea yet whether the human traffickers are American, by birth or naturalization,so skip the accusations of hypocrisy. As relatively few Americans speak Brazilian Portuguese, the traffickers are more likely to be naturalized or illegal Brazilians, Mexicans, etc. Note that the majority trafficked are girls and women; relatively few men find work in strip clubs or as prostitutes!

      What puzzles me is that the victims promised to pay $ 13,000 to $ 25,000!!! The victims must be coming from the far hills of their countries if they imagine they can live in NYC AND pay such enormous sums to their human traffickers! They’re usually unskilled or farm laborers; most don’t speak English; many are illiterate — this is an across the spectrum fact, as doctors, nurses, teachers, IT professionals can easily get green cards!

      We need a sort of Peace Corps volunteer initiative to go to these countries, and help those who want to legally immigrate. They need to understand the process, and be helped through it. If they’re illiterate, they need to be taught to read, write, and speak English. Urban job skills are a plus. They have to negotiate the public health and school systems for their children. Only legal immigrants can open bank accounts and avoid being robbed.

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