4 charged with forcing underage girls into prostitution in NJ
SOUTH HACKENSACK — Police arrested and charged four people with human trafficking Thursday after they allegedly forced young girls into prostitution.
The charges stem from an investigation that began on Oct. 2, when the South Hackensack Police Department received a report of females being forced to engage in prostitution, according to Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal. Authorities discovered three girls who had been transported to a South Hackensack motel "for the purposes of engaging in prostitution," the prosecutor said in a statement.
Police then notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, which led to a joint investigation by local and county law enforcement as well as police in Suffolk County, New York.
Following the investigation, police arrested Edwin A. Boneta, 22, of Central Islip, New York; Jefferson Contreras, 18, of Bay Shore, New York; Selena Boneta, 19, of West Babylon, New York; and Stephanie Boneta, 23, of Paterson.
Police say Edwin Boneta and Jefferson Contreras were each charged with three counts of first-degree human trafficking, three counts of first-degree promoting prostitution of a juvenile and three counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Selena Boneta was charged with three counts of second-degree facilitation of human trafficking and three counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. They are all being held in the Suffolk County Correctional Center pending extradition to New Jersey.
In addition, the prosecutor said Stephanie Boneta was charged with three counts of second-degree facilitation of human trafficking and three counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She is being held in Bergen County Jail in lieu of $225,000 bail with no 10 percent option. She was also ordered to surrender her passport and have no contact with the victims. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 31 in Bergen County, the prosecutor said.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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