Brothels discovered in Lakewood

Human trafficking and forced servitude are NOT  international issues or ones that are too distant to think or do something about.

Sometimes it is in your own back yard.

I live about 25 minutes from this…

In Lakewood brothels, women forced to serve up to 40 clients a day, authorities said

from Asbury Park Press

Women lured from Mexico and other Latin American countries with promises of jobs as house cleaners or babysitters found a different reality when they reached Lakewood. They instead were placed into high-volume prostitution, sometimes serving as many as 40 clients or “johns’’ in a single day, authorities said.

The kingpin and owner of at least three Lakewood brothels, Jose Cruz “Chato’’ Romero-Flores, 38, along with four male associates and his girlfriend have been arrested in a human trafficking takedown sweep, leaders of state and federal law enforcement agencies said Thursday.

MUGSHOTS: New Jersey human trafficking ring suspects

Authorities said they launched Operation No Boundaries over a year ago and found that it was not uncommon for the dozens of women who worked for Romero-Flores to service over 100 johns, at $30 per session, over a six-day week, with Sunday off. See the video above of one of the alleged brothels.

“They endured a miserable life,’’ acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said of the women. “This case bears the classic hallmarks of international sex-related human trafficking in that we have young women brought illegally into the United States. They are fearful and they are vulnerable because of their illegal status, their inability to earn a living legitimately and their lack of a network of supportive family and friends.’’

“The women are at the mercy of the human traffickers who exploit them,’’ he added.

Clients could go to brothels operated by Romero-Flores or his associates, or the women were driven to meetings in different parts of the state, Hoffman said. The operation was part of a network of brothels in New Jersey, New York and other states.


Additional information at


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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One Response to Brothels discovered in Lakewood

  1. Pingback: Brothel made women service more than 40 men a day: Cops | Bazaar Daily News

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