D.A. Vance Announces Takedown of Sex Trafficking Operation

December 19, 2019

Three Men Charged Following Long-Term D.A.’s Office Investigation

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of ANDREW MENDEZ, a/k/a “Drew,” a/k/a “Sneak Hound,” 20, and JORDAN RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Hussain,” 25, for a sex trafficking conspiracy in which they forced two young women to engage in prostitution from March 2017 through December 2017. The defendants are charged with various counts of Sex Trafficking, as well as Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, and Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree. In a separate indictment, MENDEZ, alongside DASHEIM GREENE, a/k/a/ “Daedae,” 24, is also charged with conspiring to prostitute a 15-year-old girl and attempting to prostitute a 14-year-old girl during that time period. [1]

The indictments are the result of a long-term investigation that began after a 16-year-old girl, who had run away from her home in Connecticut, reported to the NYPD that she was being trafficked. Four individuals, including RODRIGUEZ, were indicted in December 2018 for raping her and forcing her to engage in prostitution. Following that indictment, the Manhattan D.A.’s Human Trafficking Response Unit continued investigating, and uncovered the sex trafficking network that includes today’s defendants.

“These cases have all of the hallmarks of modern day sex trafficking in New York City,” said District Attorney Vance. “These indictments allege recruitment of child runaways, physical violence and emotional manipulation, and threats to expose the trafficked women by posting explicit photos on Facebook for their families and friends to see. I urge anyone who may be a victim of trafficking or who knows someone who may be a victim to call my Office’s human trafficking hotline at 212-335-3400. Help is available for those in need.”

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, MENDEZ conspired with RODRIGUEZ to traffic multiple young women, posting dozens of photos and ads on Backpage.com, compelling them to perform commercial sex acts in hotels and other locations in Manhattan, and forcing them to hand over all of the money they made. The defendants coerced the women by using physical violence and threats of physical violence, as well as threatening to post explicit photos and videos of the women on Facebook for their family and friends to see.

As alleged in the second indictment, MENDEZ also conspired with GREENE to promote the prostitution of a 15-year-old girl and attempted to promote the prostitution of a 14-year-old girl in the Bronx and Manhattan, often by communicating using Facebook’s Messenger service. At least one of the girls was a young runaway who they targeted because of her age and other vulnerabilities. As in the first conspiracy, MENDEZ and GREENE posted dozens of photos of the children on sites like Backpage.com.

Assistant D.A.s Pierre Griffith and Matthew Thiman are handling the prosecution of these cases under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Justin McNabney, Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, and Carolina Holderness, Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit, and Executive Assistant D.A.s Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau, and John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Investigators Sean Ryan, Ariela DaSilva, and Investigative Analyst Caroline Patterson and former Investigative Analyst Naomi Schmidt also assisted in the investigation.

District Attorney Vance also thanked Detective Olahshina Williams, Lieutenant Christopher Sharpe, and the other members of the Vice Enforcement Division’s Major Case Human Trafficking Team.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.