LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A woman is accused of sex trafficking at least three other women, threatening them with witchcraft and animal sacrifice, court documents and Metro investigators said.
Police arrested Jazmin Russo-Martinez, 30, in late April following a lengthy investigation into illegal brothels across the Las Vegas Valley. Brothels and prostitution are illegal in Clark County.
According to court documents, when police entered the illegal brothel, they found shrines with blood from animal sacrifices on the walls.
Russo-Martinez is charged with three counts of sex trafficking an adult and three counts of living off the earning of a prostitute. She also faces one count of each of the same charge in another case, according to court records.
Metro Vice Lieutenant William Matchko said it is not uncommon for sex traffickers to threaten their victims.
“Many of these men and women who are being victimized by human trafficking are being forced by threats of violence, by coercion, by force, by fear, to keep them working and to keep them being a victim,” Matchko said. “Every time a john goes out and pays for a prostitute, they are contributing to that criminal element.”
When police arrested Russo-Martinez, she reportedly told officers, “I only answer to God,” records show. When an officer pressed her for more information, she said, “I’m glad you are taking an interest in my religion and those were saints.”
Russo-Martinez remained in jail Monday and is due in court later this week.
Metro has busted 20 illegal brothels in the county so far this year, Matchko said.