(HOUSTON, TX) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – United States Attor…

(HOUSTON, TX) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – United States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg and Acting Assistant Attorney General Bradley J. Schlozman, Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, today announced the return of a superceding indictment charging two additional Mexican nationals – raising the total to six persons charged – with conspiracy to smuggle minor Mexican girls and young Mexican women into the United States for the purpose of forcing them to engage in prostitution. The superceding indictment returned today, November 8, 2005, accuses Juan Carlos Salazar, 20, and Ivan Salazar, 18, along with their father, Gerardo Salazar, also known as “El Gallo”, and three others of conspiring to engage in sex trafficking. The original indictment was returned on September 15, 2005, by a federal grand jury in Houston, Texas. Both indictments are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other member agencies of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) in Houston, Texas.

The single count superseding indictment re-alleges that Gerardo Salazar, a Mexican national, also known as “El Gallo,” 40, is the leader of a group of men who smuggled minor girls and young women from Mexico into the United States. Using deception, threats of harm, physical force and psychological coercion, Salazar compelled their service for prostitution in Houston area bars. Gerardo Salazar remains a fugitive; a warrant for his arrest is outstanding.

Today’s superseding indictment includes additional allegations asserting that Juan Carlos and Ivan Salazar, El Gallo’s sons, were part of a conspiracy to provide
women and girls for prostitution in Mexico and in Houston area bars. Both Juan Carlos and Ivan Salazar, who are illegally in the country, are presently in administrative federal custody. They are expected to be transferred to the custody of the United States Marshal Service pending their initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge. The United States will seek their continued detention without bond pending further criminal proceedings.

The superseding indictment re-alleges the accusations originally alleged against Gerardo Salazar’s two nephews, Angel Moreno Salazar, 24, Jose Luis Moreno Salazar, 20, and an associate, Salvador Fernando Molina Garcia, 37. These defendants are alleged members of El Gallo’s group accused of providing women, all Mexican nationals, for purposes of prostitution. Angel and Jose Luis Salazar, and Salvador Garcia, all Mexican nationals illegally in the United States, are in federal custody and will remain in federal custody pending trial.

Federal law prohibits persons from conspiring to use force, fraud and coercion to cause persons to engage in commercial sex acts, or to knowingly cause persons who have not yet attained the age of eighteen to engage in these commercial sex acts.

All six of the defendants are accused of conspiring together to (1) recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide and obtain young Mexican women and girls, and benefitting financially from participating in a venture knowing that force, fraud and coercion would be used to cause the young Mexican women and girls to engage in commercial sex acts; and to (2) entice, harbor, transport, provide and obtain young Mexican women and girls, and benefit financially from participation in a venture knowing that the girls who not attained the age of 18 years would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.

According to allegations in the indictment, the conspiracy involved the:

• smuggling or arranging to smuggle young Mexican women and minor girls into the United States;

• maintaining a series of apartments in the Houston area where the young women and minor girls were housed;

• forcing the minor girls and women to engage in prostitution in bars in the U.S. by using deception, threats of harm, physical force, psychological coercion to compel their service;

• requiring the minor girls and women to turn over their earnings for the financial benefit of the defendants;

• intimidating, threatening and coercing the young Mexican women and minor girls through beatings, threats of harm, close supervision and rules to maintain their services as prostitutes in their employ.

Gerardo Salazar is alleged to have placed two minor Mexican girls – ages 16 and 17 – into service as prostitutes in a Houston area bar, having beaten a third young Mexican woman for encouraging another girl to quit prostitution and leave; and threatening to beat a fourth young woman for not reporting a co-worker’s mistakes to
him. All four victimized young Mexican nationals are identified by initials only.

Angel Salazar is alleged to have demanded that one of the young women turn her earnings from prostitution over to him at the end of each day.

Salvador Garcia is alleged to have beaten yet another young Mexican woman because he believed she was concealing from him some of her earnings from prostitution.

Juan Carlos Salazar is alleged to have managed a Mexican prostitute, who had been illegally smuggled into the United States by his father and others and transporting the woman to several Houston area bars for the purpose of prostitution.

Ivan Salazar is alleged to have orchestrated the beating of one of the juvenile Mexican national females by a co-defendant because she had defied his authority. Ivan Salazar is also alleged to have collected the illicit earnings of prostitutes in Mexico for his father.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Anyone having information about the whereabouts of Gerardo Salazar, a.k.a. “El Gallo,” is urged to contact the FBI in Houston, Texas, at (713) 693-5000, or their nearest FBI office.

Anyone having knowledge of others subjected to similarly described conduct are urged to contact the Houston office of the FBI at the above number, or the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance through the Houston office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 281-774-4900.

Assistant United States Attorneys Ruben R. Perez and Joe Magliolo of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas, and Trial Attorneys Lou DeBaca and Jennifer Dominguez of the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, will prosecute this case.

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