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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
HomeNewsPolice & CourtsWoman Charged with Importing Women for Prostitution on STT

Woman Charged with Importing Women for Prostitution on STT

A criminal complaint was been filed in U.S. District Court charging Ramona Rivera Luna with harboring and importation of aliens for immoral purposes, U.S. Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Tuesday.

According to court documents filed in the case, Ramona Rivera Luna, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was arrested Friday. Earlier that day, federal agents executed a search warrant at The Embers Guest House, which the defendant owns and has operated for more than 15 years. Federal agents discovered seven female aliens from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela whom the defendant is alleged to have had smuggled by others into St. Thomas after luring the females to work for her with the false offer of legitimate bartending and server jobs.

Once the women arrived in St. Thomas, they were forced to engage in commercial sex acts, with the proceeds used to pay off their respective smuggling debts, which ranged from $8,000 to $15,000, and to pay the defendant $200 a week for rent. The women had to obtain permission and pay to leave the premises for any reason, including merely running errands such as to the grocery store, paying a $150 exit fee.

Court documents allege that the defendant maintained her control over the women with threats of possible violence and near constant surveillance – the premises were equipped with video cameras, all of which were connected to a DVR found in the defendant’s bedroom.

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The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Edwards.

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A criminal complaint was been filed in U.S. District Court charging Ramona Rivera Luna with harboring and importation of aliens for immoral purposes, U.S. Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Tuesday. According to court documents filed in the case, Ramona Rivera Luna, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was arrested Friday. Earlier that day, federal agents executed a search warrant at The Embers Guest House, which the defendant owns and has operated for more than 15 years. Federal agents discovered seven female aliens from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela whom the defendant is alleged to have had smuggled by others into St. Thomas after luring the females to work for her with the false offer of legitimate bartending and server jobs. Once the women arrived in St. Thomas, they were forced to engage in commercial sex acts, with the proceeds used to pay off their respective smuggling debts, which ranged from $8,000 to $15,000, and to pay the defendant $200 a week for rent. The women had to obtain permission and pay to leave the premises for any reason, including merely running errands such as to the grocery store, paying a $150 exit fee. Court documents allege that the defendant maintained her control over the women with threats of possible violence and near constant surveillance – the premises were equipped with video cameras, all of which were connected to a DVR found in the defendant’s bedroom. The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Edwards.