Human Trafficking Bust in Houston Frees 18

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The investigation began on June 5th, after a report was made to police about someone being held against their will in the Houston area.  According to the initial complaint, kidnappers were demanding a payment of $4,700 in addition to $300 that had already been paid to someone in Mexico to help bring the individual into the country.  The family also stated that they were told the family member would be killed if the money was not paid.  The human trafficking and vice divisions were immediately involved.

 

Responding to the general area suspected, a traffic stop was made that resulted in the rescue of a minor victim, and detention of suspected perpetrators.  As the investigation continued, authorities were able to continually tighten the net resulting in the rescue of a total of 18 people.

 

Two people were rescued in the process of locating the "stash house," and another 16 were freed from the house itself, where they were held in "deplorable conditions."  According to police statements, two women were held captive there for a period of 25 days and were sexually assaulted by three of those arrested.  Some of the other men in the house were being held with little to no clothing and were, "enslaved, in some cases, for work and sex."

 

Police also removed over $10,000 in cash, four firearms, and 19 grams cocaine from the residence.

 

All of those being held against their will were immigrants from various Latin American countries.

 

Those that were arrested in this case are as follows:

Jose Silvestre, 18, is charged with aggravated sexual assault and engaging in organized criminal activity by kidnapping.

Fredy Moreno-Gil, 26, is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity by kidnapping.

Gabriel Salazar-Bautista, 35, is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity by kidnapping.

Jose Manuel Aviles-Diaz, 26, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, engaging in organized criminal activity by kidnapping and possession with intent to deliver or manufacture a controlled substance.

Moris Gudiel Campos Gomez, 39, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, engaging in organized criminal activity by kidnapping and possession with intent to deliver or manufacture a controlled substance.

 

Additional federal charges may be forthcoming.

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