The leader of an international human trafficking and prostitution ring that came through Hudson County and other parts of New Jersey and New York was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport yesterday, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Birmania “Nancy” Rincon, 62, of Teaneck, was arrested on charges related to human trafficking and prostitution, Musella said in a statement.
In November 2020, members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Squad initiated an investigation, dubbed “Operation Hope in Darkness”, into a human trafficking, prostitution, and money laundering organization operating throughout Bergen County, in northern New Jersey, and in New York.
The investigation revealed that several individuals were trafficking women throughout Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, and Passaic Counties, and in Rockland County and Queens County, New York for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts.
As a result of the investigation, Rincon was identified as one of the primary leaders of a criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and prostitution offenses since at least 2015.
This criminal enterprise employed drivers to facilitate the money laundering and prostitution offenses.
Additional individuals were also identified as managing and/or supervising separate money laundering and prostitution organizations throughout northern New Jersey and in New York.
During the early morning hours of Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021, over 100 detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office executed 19 search warrants in Bergen and Hudson Counties, and arrested 21 individuals.
One individual, Rincon, became a fugitive from justice and was believed to be residing in the country of Colombia.
On Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, Rincon was indicted by a Bergen County Grand Jury and charged with second-degree racketeering, two counts of second-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity, second-degree promotion of organized street crime, and third-degree promoting prostitution.
On Tuesday, February 15th, 2022, she was identified as attempting to enter the United States via a flight from Colombia.
As a result, Rincon was subsequently taken into custody at Newark Liberty International Airport by law enforcement officers from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Port Authority Police Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
As a result of this investigation, more than 50 women have been identified as being victims of human trafficking.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Victim Assistance Specialists and Covenant House, the BCPO is continuing efforts to connect these victims with all available services to help them obtain a life free from sexual servitude and abuse.
Anyone who has been the victim of human trafficking is encouraged to call the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Tipline at 201-226-5532. Services and assistance are available to ensure that victims are connected to resources.
Musella thanked the Office of Homeland Security Investigations – New Jersey Division, Port Authority Police Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance in the investigation.