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Illegal Alien's Prostitution Business Started Each Week on Capitol Hill

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

The regular weekly rendezvous took place at Union Station on Capitol Hill, just a short walk from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's office in the Hart Building.


But it happened on Sunday, when the Senate was out.

"El Comandante," as he was called, would drive up in his black Hyundai Santa Fe. A young woman would get in, and they would drive away.

Another workweek would begin for a prostitute in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a press release on Friday that revealed some news you are not likely to hear discussed by Minority Leader Schumer or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The headline on the release: "Illegal Alien Sentenced for Sexually Exploiting Women in Northern Virginia."

"An El Salvadoran man who is in the United States illegally was sentenced today to over two years in prison for running an illegal commercial sex business that catered to the Hispanic community in Northern Virginia," said the first paragraph.

This story, however, started in approximately 2001. That is when Luis Bonilla-Hernandez -- the future El Comandante -- illegally entered the United States as a teenager.

He is now 33.

"Defendant was born in El Salvador and has a close relationship with his mother, who still resides in El Salvador," the U.S. attorney's office told the U.S. District Court in a document stating the government's position on how he should be sentenced.

"Defendant illegally entered the United States around the age of 15 years old," said this document filed on April 5.

He went to Fairfax County in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.


"Defendant enrolled at Herndon High School but withdrew after completing the tenth grade," the U.S. attorney told the court.

"While in the United States, Defendant worked for a construction company in Sterling, Virginia and at an autobody repair business. He also worked as an HVAC technician," said the U.S. attorney.

"Despite these lawful jobs," said the prosecutor, "Defendant chose to operate a prostitution business for at least three years and profited off of the sexual exploitation of numerous females' bodies."

This January, Bonilla-Hernandez and a colleague pleaded guilty in the federal court.

"Two men pleaded guilty today to running a prostitution business that catered to the Hispanic population in northern Virginia over the past three years," said a release the U.S. attorney put out then. "According to court documents, Luis Bonilla-Hernandez, 32, of Sterling, and Eliazar Duran Mota, 23, of Herndon, ran the prostitution business out of their homes."

The federal government did not initiate the investigation that eventually led to their guilty pleas.

"Detective Michael Roche of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office initiated a human trafficking investigation in June 2017 after receiving information from a confidential informant (CI 1) that Luis Adalberto Bonilla-Hernandez was involved in the sex trafficking of multiple women throughout Virginia," FBI special agent Laura R. Calvillo said in an affidavit backing up the U.S. attorney's criminal complaint.


"CI 1 reported that Bonilla-Hernandez ordered the females from a domestic supplier, at a price of three-hundred dollars per prostitute," said Calvillo's affidavit.

It also described Duran Mota as "a citizen of Mexico."

The Greyhound bus terminal within Union Station -- literally across the street from the Capitol grounds -- was a key location for their enterprise.

"Cell phone analysis reveals some of the women being prostituted traveled from various parts of the country to Union Station in Washington, D.C.," said the FBI affidavit. "Thereafter, a cell phone analysis reveals the women in Northern Virginia for about a week."

In January, Bonilla-Hernandez signed what he stipulated was a "true and accurate" statement of facts that the U.S. attorney submitted to the federal court.

"After each female arrived via bus in Washington, D.C., for their scheduled week, Bonilla-Hernandez and Duran Mota alternated picking the female up via car," said the statement. "After picking up the female, Bonilla-Hernandez and Duran Mota drove the females from Washington, D.C. to Northern Virginia for purposes of prostitution."

"Each female stayed at the residence of Bonilla-Hernandez or Duran Mota for a week at a time," said the statement. "Each female worked Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, a new female would be obtained for purposes of prostitution. The new female would then work Monday through Saturday in prostitution."


"The females engaged in ten to twenty prostitution dates per day," said the statement.

In the press release he put out Friday, Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, reiterated the role that Union Station -- adjacent to the Senate office buildings -- played in this criminal activity.

"After a woman worked for a week," said Terwilliger's press release, "Bonilla-Hernandez and Duran Mota would switch out their 'inventory' by obtaining a new woman from Union Station to work throughout Northern Virginia."

"The tears, pain, and mental anguish expressed by the victims in this case is heartbreaking," Terwilliger said.

"Additionally," he said, "this case is yet another example of an individual who is here in the United States illegally and committing serious crimes."

On Friday, Bonilla-Hernandez was sentenced to 27 months in prison. According to the U.S. attorney's office, Duran Mota is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of

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