A Dorchester resident pleaded guilty Monday to operating a human trafficking ring based in the Boston area.
Michael Leoney, 53, pleaded guilty to charges related to human trafficking for sexual servitude and profiting from prostitution, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, WHDH reported. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 29.
“This defendant exploited women by recruiting them, transporting them and coercing them to engage in commercial sex for his own personal profit,” Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement quoted by WHDH.
The investigation into Leoney began in 2012 and revealed a large operation in which he coerced women into prostitution, advertised them on websites and managed the money they collected, authorities said in a relatedBoston.com article.
Leoney's brother Shaun was also allegedly part of the operation; his role was to traffic Hispanic women while Michael Leoney specialized in Caucasians, WHDH added.