Sex Trafficking Brings Guilty Pleas

Four people enter guilty pleas to sex trafficking charges in Council Bluffs Federal Court.

Merrideth June (“Mary”) Crane-Horton, age 32, and Edwin Nathan
(“Nate”) Horton, age 35, each entered pleas of guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer to Count 1 of a superseding indictment charging conspiracy to commit or
financially benefit from sex trafficking.

Katherine Heredia, age 23, and 21 year old Ramon D. Heredia, each entered a plea of guilty before United States District Court Judge James E. Gritzner to the same charge. In particular, the defendants each admitted being knowingly and intentionally involved in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking in which a15 year old girl was enticed into the conspiracy and then coerced to perform commercial sex acts on at least two occasions.

The defendants each also admitted that in the course of the conspiracy, various youngadult women were enticed into the conspiracy to perform commercial sex acts, and then coerced,
including by physical assaults and the threat of physical assault, to continue to perform commercial sex acts on behalf of the conspiracy.

The defendants each admitted that all of the defendants benefitted financially from the commercial sex acts, including those sex acts
performed by the 15 year old girl. The defendants each further admitted that commercial sex acts on behalf of the conspiracy were performed in both Nebraska and Iowa, and that the

The conspiracy employed the internet in interstate commerce to solicit purchasers of the commercial sex acts.

Sentencings for all of the defendants are set for February 7, 2011.

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