“Two Fall River residents have been indicted for their alleged participation in a human trafficking scheme, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Olivia “Missy” Lara, 38, was indicted by a Bristol County grand jury Thursday on three counts of trafficking in persons under the age of 18 for sexual servitude and three counts of deriving support from a minor prostitute.
Feliciano Ramirez, 30, was indicted on one count of rape of a child for allegedly engaging in sex with one of the children Lara was allegedly providing to her customers, said Coakley in a statement.
Investigation into the scheme began in December, after the New Bedford Police Department told Homeland Security they believed a local woman — now identified as Lara — was trafficking underage girls for sexual purposes, said Coakley.
“We allege that [Lara] exploited and sold children for sex, sometimes up to five times in a night, and personally profited from this activity,” Coakley said.
Lara would allegedly bring the girls to a car or residence where the men would have sex with them. She would allegedly receive at least half of the profits from these encounters, Coakley said.
Authorities believe Ramirez was one of Lara’s customers, and he engaged in sexual acts with one of the minors, said Coakley.
“I sincerely hope that this sends a very clear message,” said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of the Boston office of Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. “Human trafficking simply will not be tolerated.”
Lara and Ramirez were arrested by State Police assigned to the attorney general’s office on Jan. 15. During their original arraignment in Fall River District Court, Lara was held on $100,000 cash bail and Ramirez was held on $25,000 cash bail, said Coakley.
They are both to be arraigned on the charges in the indictment in Bristol Superior Court at a later date.”
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