ICE hold on man accused of human trafficking - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

ICE hold on man accused of human trafficking

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer on a man facing human trafficking charges.

Miguel Alvarez-Maradiaga, 32, is accused of forcing women into prostitution in Martin and Palm Beach Counties. Alvarez-Maradiaga was convicted of prostitution-related charges in December 2017 in Martin County after detectives found two women he forced into working at one of his brothels.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office detectives say Alvarez-Maradiaga was part of an elaborate scheme in the two counties to make money off forcing women into prostitution and running brothels.

According to ICE officials, an immigration detainer was placed on April 2 on Alvarez-Maradiaga, “an illegally present Honduran national, following his arrest on multiple charges by local law enforcement in Palm Beach County.”

Alvarez-Maradiaga faced a Palm Beach County judge on Monday for human trafficking charges in Palm Beach County. His bond was set at $600,000, but he will be unable to place it because of the ICE hold and his prison sentence with the Department of Corrections.

A woman went to PBSO special investigators on June 10, 2016 saying Alvarez-Maradiaga forced her to work in one of his brothels as a prostitute for four months until she became pregnant, according to an arrest report.

She said Alvarez-Maradiaga’s family runs brothels and he told her she had to work because he is an amputee and cannot work himself. Alvarez-Maradiaga verbally and physically abused her, the report states. 

She said she averaged 15 to 20 men in one day, but could have up to 35. She said she never received money and knew of at least four brothels in Palm Beach County the family ran. 

Alvarez-Maradiaga would not allow her medical care for her pregnancy and forced her to work as a “house mom” collecting money and making sure the other girls worked, a detective wrote. 

Martin County Sheriff’s Office found two Hispanic women at a home near SE Delmar St and SE Ferndale Ave on May 6, 2017 who said a man later identified as Alvarez-Maradiaga forced them into prostitution after he promised he would bring them to the U.S. to work, court records state.

Alvarez-Maradiaga pleaded no contest, was adjudicated guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison in December for operating a house of prostitution, receiving money from and soliciting prostitution in Martin County.

He was brought to Palm Beach County from the Holmes Correctional Institution where he was being held.

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