Federal authorities charged a man, his wife, and his son for their alleged role in a commercial sex trafficking operation that involved half-dozen women, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito’s Office.
Jean Noriega, 48, Enna Gonzalez, 53, and John Oyola, 32, all of Paterson, were each charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking on Thursday.
Noriega, known as “Poison,” his wife Gonzalez, and son, Oyola, known as “Peachy,” ran the alleged sex trafficking operation from 2016 through 2018. Noriega maintained a residence in Paterson from which he would transport victims to hotels in New York and New Jersey to perform sex acts.
Noriega and Gonzalez placed advertisements featuring sexually explicit photos of the victims and phone numbers on Backpage.com to attract customers. Men seeking to engage in sex called the phone numbers to set up meetings.
Noriega would pay for hotel rooms where the victims would engage in sex with his customers. He would reserve multiple hotel rooms next to each other to monitor the victims.
Victims were directed to call Noriega during the sex acts so he could listen to the acts and the financial transactions. He kept all the money the women collected from the men for himself, authorities said.
Noriega, who is incarcerated in New York for promoting prostitution and drug possession on a previous conviction, used violence, threats of violence, and threats of drug withdrawal to force the women to engage in sex for his profit.
Authorities said he recruited and enticed drug-addicted young women to stay at his residence with the promise he would provide them more drugs. He exacerbated their drug addiction and forced them to use more severe drugs.
Noriega would then force the women to engage in commercial sex to support their drug addiction and avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.
Noriega physically beat the victims to intimidate them and create a climate of fear. For example, he physically beat one of the five victims and made the others watch. Gonzalez would tell the victims Noriega would beat them if they did not comply with her demands to engage in commercial sex.
One victim told authorities Oyola would sometimes videotape the beatings to show to other women to instill fear. For example, Noriega beat a woman with a belt until she was bleeding from her head at the Paterson house in presence of three women.
Oyola showed the video to a victim and made her feel afraid, authorities said.
Noriega was arrested on August 9, 2017 at a hotel in New York for promoting prostitution and drug possession. He pleaded guilty on October 2018 to both charges. He was given a two-year prison sentence. He continued to run his operation through Gonzalez and Oyola, authorities said.
Oyola and Gonzalez collected proceeds and transported the women to hotels while Noriega was behind bars.
On August 10, 2017, Noriega called his wife and son from jail and told them to put two women, Victim 1 and Victim 4, to “work” at a hotel in Connecticut to earn money for his bail.
On a recorded jail call, Oyola reported on August 18, 2017 the amount of money the two victims earned from commercial sex at a hotel in New Jersey. On the same day, Oyola told Noriega he lost track of the two women, both left a hotel room without telling him.
Noriega told his son to track down the women by checking local court websites and Backpage.com advertisements. On August 19, 2017, Oyola called Noriega and told him he is still looking for both women.
Oyola told his father he would beat both women once he found them. He also told him he planned to tell Victim 2’s probation officer that she had been using Backpage.com to punish her.
In a call on August 20, 2017, Oyola told Noriega that he spotted Victim 5 around Paterson. He beeped at her, but she ran away. Two days later, Noriega gave directions to Oyola.
“Tell [Victim-5] she better send some money over there before I get out. She better send something to ease the blows a little bit. But they still coming. That girl made me lose my spot. I don’t need the same bitches; I can get new ones all the time. I ain’t going to let her run around with my name on her. Tell her she has 48 hours left to send [Gonzalez] some money before the lion gets out,” Noriega told the son.
At the end of the call, Noriega reminded Oyola to tell Victim 5 to give money to Gonzalez. Oyola responded yes or Victim 5 is “dead.”
Noriega and Oyola discussed getting the victims to write and send notarized letters to the attorney handling his case in the New York.
“You need to get with these bitches to make a statement,” Noriega told Oyola. Next day, Oyola facilitated a three-way call with Noriega and Victim 1
Noriega told Victim 1 what to write in the letter and said, “We are going to stick with the same story, you are my girl, you were stripping and I met all the girls through you.”
On September 25, 2017, Noriega and Gonzalez discussed profits generated through the commercial sex business. Both also discussed how much Gonzalez would need to advertise on Backpage to grow the business.
Gonzalez recounted to Noriega how she threatened Victim 1.
“[Noriega] gonna find you, he always does. And what you are doing [not earning enough money] is making it four times worse,” Gonzalez recounted telling Victim 1 to Noriega.
Gonzalez told Noriega she instructed Victim 1 not to leave the house without her permission.
Noriega often dictated texts Gonzalez should send to Victim 1. On October 5, 2017, Gonzalez texted Victim 1,”He’s on the phone, he wants to know when you get there and how much you are getting for the half [hour].”
October 12, 2017, Gonzalez texted Victim 1, “He’s fuming, you better hurry up.”
During calls with Noriega, Gonzalez frequently gave the phone to Victim 1 to allow him to threaten her directly.
On October 9, 2017, Noriega told Gonzalez to call Victim 1’s phone. He left a voice message, “Get your ass home right now, top speed and get this f–king money and then do what the f–k you want to do.”
Later the same day, Noriega told Victim 1 through Gonzalez that she was “on a suicide mission” and asked if she wanted him to be the one to kill her.
Noriega and Gonzalez also discussed the future of their sex business.
“I can’t take it. I’m starting to understand this game. These bitches are dumb bitches, dumb mother f–king bitches. I can see why you can manipulate them,” Gonzalez told Noriega in a call.
“Nah, I can’t do this with somebody that has got a head on their shoulders,” replied Noriega.
Noriega appeared before a judge at the Syracuse federal court in the Northern District of New York on Thursday. Oyola appeared before a judge at the Newark federal court on Wednesday. And Gonzalez appeared before a judge in Newark on Monday, authorities said.
Maximum penalty for each is life in prison.