TRENTON — Eight people have been charged with operating a human trafficking ring in Central Jersey that forced foreign women into prostitution, according to State Police.

Law enforcement agencies on May 11 conducted a raid of several residences throughout Trenton. Police said their investigation revealed eleven women in total who had been smuggled into the United States. The women were told they would have legitimate employment, according to police.

Paulino Macolas-Aguirre, 43, of Trenton has been identified by authorities as the ringleader of the operation. Six other Trenton residents and one woman from Asbury Park were also charged.

Hudson Street in Trenton. (Google Maps)
Hudson Street in Trenton. (Google Maps)
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The investigation began on January 21 when state investigators learned of an underage victim being trafficked out of a home on Hudson Street. A search of the home revealed two victims, according to police. Two Trenton men, identified as Daniel Bonito Camara, 55, and Edy Villeda Estrada, 39, were arrested.

Police said one juvenile victim rescued from the Hudson Street residence had been smuggled into Texas from Mexico. She was then forced into prostitution in Asbury Park before being moved to Trenton. The victim had been told she would be working at a restaurant.

The eight people who have been charged as a result of the investigation face a combined total of 52 counts.

Edy Villeda Estrada. (ICE)
Edy Villeda Estrada. (ICE)
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The three suspects named above plus Efran Melocastillo and Jose Gabriel Camara Perico, both 30 and of Trenton, and Asbury Park resident Laura Macolas Aguirre, 44, are all in custody. They are being held at Mercer County jail.

Two of the suspects are still at large. They are Daniel Handerson Camara Perico, 31, and Daniela Penco-Camara, 28, both of Trenton.

Numerous law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation including the Trenton police, the Asbury Park police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Office of the Attorney General, and multiple State Police units.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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