Man Accused of Sex Trafficking on Las Vegas Strip, Threatens to Report Women as Undocumented
Posted on: June 6, 2021, 12:36h.
Last updated on: June 6, 2021, 02:34h.
A 56-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking on the Las Vegas Strip. He is accused of coercing women into working as prostitutes by threatening to report them as undocumented immigrants, according to a report.
Byron Ochoa of Las Vegas was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on two counts of sex trafficking and living from the earnings of a prostitute, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is scheduled to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court on June 30.
Ochoa told Las Vegas police officers posing as sex customers that he could arrange for two women to go to their rooms to have sex for money, the newspaper reported. This was part of a vice operation on the 3600 block of the Strip. Among the hotel-casinos on that block are the Bellagio, Bally’s, and Paris Las Vegas.
The women only spoke Spanish, but agreed to have sex for money, according to police. Authorities then arrested Ochoa and the two women. One women told officers Ochoa had begun to put pressure on her several weeks ago. She had met him in a bar. He wanted her to work as a prostitute, she said.
“Byron began to coerce her about a month ago by threatening her that he would tell her employer she was undocumented, and they would fire her,” according to a police report.
The second woman said she had borrowed money from Ochoa. He told her she had to go on dates with men in return, according to the newspaper.
Byron threatened to make the government aware of her being in the United States without documents,” the report states.
Ochoa told police the women were only supposed to take the men to a strip club, but not engage in sex with them.
Sex Suspect Sought ‘Dominance’
This is the second high-profile sex trafficking arrest on the Strip within a week.
On Memorial Day weekend, police arrested a 25-year-old California man after he told an undercover officer she was to split her earnings as a prostitute with him, according to a report. He threatened to choke the officer. The man later said he did that to “assert dominance” over her.
Clifton Ligons has a June 29 court date in Las Vegas in the incident.
Ligons later told detectives he is not a pimp, but wanted to “get whatever he could out of a female,” the newspaper reported.
These arrests come as police have begun a crime suppression effort that Capt. Dori Koren refers to as “Operation Persistent Pressure II.”
Koren has recently tweeted pictures of firearms and illegal narcotics that officers confiscated during arrests on the Strip and nearby tourists areas. The firearms include a gold-plated AK-47 that police retrieved from a criminal suspect in May.
This follows an anti-crime effort last year that police referred to as “Operation Persistent Pressure.” Officials launched that program to curb an increase in shootings and fights on the Strip in the second half of 2020.
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