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“Human trafficking of this kind is the equivalent of modern day slavery…
By on May 28th, 2011

U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney

Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 26, 2011 PRESS RELEASE

THREE CONVICTED OF SEX TRAFFICKING, FORCED LABOR, AND IMMIGRATION OFFENSES ON LONG ISLAND

Defendants Victimized Undocumented Immigrant Women

After a four-week trial, a federal jury in Central Islip, New York, today found Antonio

Rivera and Jason Villaman guilty of conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor, alien harboring,

and alien transportation. John Whaley was convicted of conspiracy, forced labor, alien

harboring, and alien transportation.

“Those who exploit vulnerable individuals for personal gain will be prosecuted to the full

extent of the law,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We are committed to ensuring that

everyone receives the full protection of our laws.” Ms. Lynch thanked the Defense Criminal

Investigative Service for its assistance in this case.

“Human trafficking of this kind is the equivalent of modern day slavery. It deprives its

victims of their freedom and dignity, and it has no place in our country. This case should serve

as a reminder that the Justice Department is committed to the aggressive prosecution of those

who rob individuals of their freedom for financial gain,” Assistant Attorney General Perez said.

“This investigation and the resulting guilty verdicts prove that there is no tolerance in our

society for this form of unbridled abuse and cruel exploitation of women,” said ICE/HSI Special

Agent-in-Charge Hayes. This outcome further solidifies our resolve to work closely with other

law enforcement agencies to root out those criminals who mistakenly view the most vulnerable

among us as easy prey.”

“I congratulate the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District as well as the United

States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division for the successful prosecution of this human

trafficking case,” stated Suffolk County Police Commissioner Dormer. “I appreciate the

difficult task the detectives and agents had overcoming the fear that these undocumented women

expressed during this investigation. This case sends an important message to all undocumented

persons who may be here illegally and are being victimized: the law enforcement community

and prosecutors will not tolerate your criminal exploitation; if you come forward, we will protect

you.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk stated, “A jury has convicted these men of

serious crimes that degraded and exploited particularly vulnerable women. Through violence

and other means, the women were coerced into sexual servitude. The FBI is committed to

protecting victims and potential victims of sexual predators.”

IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Pine stated, “IRS Special Agents are an integral part of

financial investigations. If the case involves money, as in sex trafficking, we provide value in

tracking down money trails. We always welcome the opportunity to provide financial

investigative assistance to our law enforcement partners.”

When sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein, the defendants face

a maximum term of imprisonment of life on the sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex

trafficking offenses, and 20 years for the forced labor, alien harboring, and transportation of

aliens offenses. In addition, the defendants face a fine equal to twice the pecuniary gain

resulting from their crimes.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Demetri M.

Jones and Licha Nyiendo, and Senior Litigation Counsel John Cotton Richmond of the

Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

The Defendants:

ANTONIO RIVERA

Age: 36

JOHN WHALEY

Age: 31

JASON VILLAMAN

Age: 33

 

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May 28th, 2011
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