Federal authorities and local police arrested three men after breaking up a sex trafficking operation in the Hollow neighborhood of Bridgeport on Thursday.
Police said Emiliano Alameda-Cabrera, 36, and brothers Dardo Reyes, 29, and Patricio Reyes, 33, were charged Friday with prostitution-related charges. All are being held on $1 million bond each.
In a year-long investigation police learned the group was part of a larger, multi-state ring that trafficked women. Investigators said the ring is believed to have ties to organized crime in Mexico.
The operation took place at two houses at 46 Lexington Ave. and 204-206 Olive St, where police issued search and seizure warrants and arrested the three suspects.
Federal agents and police surveillanced the two homes and saw women transported back and forth. Several women traveled between New York and Bridgeport to work as prostitutes, police said.
According to authorities, a confidential informant posed as a customer and was quoted a price, but claimed he felt uncomfortable having sex there because there were children in the residence.
Police said he was handed a business card and told, "I will drive the girls to you. Just call me."
"This truly is a sad case," said Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. "These arrests resulted from outstanding cooperation and coordination between a number of agencies: local, state and federal. The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement all played key roles in the investigation," he added.
Five children were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families.
Police said they located two women suspected of being prostitutes. The women are being provided services by the International Institute of Connecticut.
The investigation remains active in New York and Massachusetts.