SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Federal authorities said Thursday they have uncovered an illegal sex trafficking network that forced women into prostitution and traded them like slaves between cities in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.
Twelve people - eight men and four women - were indicted in U.S. District Court in Savannah.
Prosecutors said they had acted as a network of pimps who lured dozens of women to the United States from Mexico and Central America and forced them to work as prostitutes in homes, hotel rooms and mobile home parks, moving them between cities or states at least once a week.
"Some of these women would be forced to perform up to 30 acts of prostitution a day," said Edward Tarver, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Speaking at a news conference in Savannah, he added: "I'm outraged that trafficking of other human beings is ongoing in our country today."
Authorities said they rescued 11 women, most in their 20s and from Mexico and Nicaragua, who were being used as sex slaves. They're getting help while assisting prosecutors with their criminal case, authorities said.