Federal court sentences six people for sex trafficking - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Sentencing underway for convicted sex traffickers

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Joaquin Mendez-Hernandez, thought to be the ringleader, will be sentenced Wednesday. (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office) Joaquin Mendez-Hernandez, thought to be the ringleader, will be sentenced Wednesday. (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office)
Juan Carlos Pena will be sentenced Wednesday. (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office) Juan Carlos Pena will be sentenced Wednesday. (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office)
Neurby Celenia Diaz was sentenced to six years in prison. (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office) Neurby Celenia Diaz was sentenced to six years in prison. (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Six people are being sentenced in federal court for sex trafficking charges.

Three people were sentenced Tuesday morning by Judge B. Avant Edenfield.

Claudio Sanchez-Clauderon was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Neurby Celenia Diaz and Jorge Lira-Xochicale were sentenced to less than seven years in prison. They also must pay thousands of dollars of restitution to their victims.

All three admitted to being involved in the conspiracy to traffic young women in Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Florida.

Joaquin Mendez-Hernandez, who is accused of forcing numerous victims to prostitute, took the stand on Tuesday.

Attorneys say Mendez-Hernandez is the leader of the conspiracy, or the pimp, who set up appointments and transferred the women from client to client.

Several victims testified against Mendez-Hernandez. Some said he forced them to perform nearly 50 times a day with different men. The victims also said that Mendez-Hernandez raped them.

Mendez-Hernandez denies these allegations but admits to being apart of the conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.   

Hernandez and the last two defendants could face up to life in prison. The sentencing will continue on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. in federal court.

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