Florida law enforcement agencies exposed the criminal network, which more than a year was providing sexual services to residents of several US states. In total, the network consisted of 12 persons, among them there was no U.S. citizen. All participants in the illicit business are believed to have come from Russia or former Soviet countries.
The 27-count indictment, unsealed this week, accuses Roman Caraiman and Alexandr Postica of recruiting women to work as sex workers at massage parlors around the United States.
Federal authorities said Caraiman imported people from Russia and sought to bring women from other countries to the United States, all to work in the sex trade.
Several have been arrested, including Tatiana Belinschi, a 25-year-old who goes by the alias “Laura.” She was booked into the Orange County Jail this week and is scheduled for arraignment this morning in Orlando federal court.
Several of the suspects were arrested outside Florida, including Postica and co-defendants Saida Babaeva, 28, and Alina Priadko, 24.
Also named in the indictment: Kateryna Krykovlyuk, Elena Shashurova, Vlada Blisciuc, Elena Abushinova, Irina Luchina, Aleksandra Liubina and Natalia Fedorova.
The indictment alleges that the 12 worked together in a commercial sex business in Orange, Osceola and Hillsborough counties since at least July 2009. Their activities continued through this month, the charges state.
Caraiman, Belinschi and Postica are accused of using at least one website to recruit non-U.S. citizens to work in the sex industry in America.
Authorities said Caraiman and Belinschi placed ads for massage services on the classifieds websites craigslist and backpage, so they could solicit customers.
Nine of the suspects paid a portion of their proceeds to Caraiman, who then shared his money with Belinschi and Postica, the charges state.
The indictment details dates, beginning in 2009, when the women are accused of offering to perform sex acts on an undercover detective in exchange for money.
Authorities say the sex ring operated outside of Florida as well.
In December, according to the indictment, Postica transported Babaeva from Ohio to Michigan to work, and Postica also transported Liubina and Fedorova from Massachusetts to Michigan, also for commercial sex work.