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Dec. 8, 2009

TWO CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR SMUGGLING A MINOR FOR PURPOSES OF PROSTITUTION AND ANOTHER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR HARBORING THE MINOR

(HOUSTON) - Three Mexican nationals illegally in the United States have been convicted and sentenced on felony charges relating to the smuggling of a minor female into the United States for the purpose of prostitution and harboring the minor, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. 

At a hearing before U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes on Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, the second of two defendants involved in the smuggling of a minor female for the purpose of prostitution was sentenced to prison. Judge Hughes sentenced Jorge Texis-Montano, 24, to 30 months imprisonment. Texis pleaded guilty on Nov. 30, 2009, to conspiring to bring a 15-year-old Mexican female into the United States from Mexico for the purpose of prostitution. Co-conspirator Jorge Aguila-Cuapio, 19, pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charge on Nov. 23, 2009. On the same date, a third defendant, Sonia Tecuapacho-Tecuapacho, 24, pleaded guilty to harboring the minor in a Houston area apartment. Aguila and Tecuapacho were each sentenced on Nov. 30, 2009. Aguila was sentenced to 36 months, while Tecuapacho was sentenced to time served, that is, approximately seven months. All three defendants have been in federal custody without bond since their May 2009 arrest and are all subject to deportation upon the completion of their sentences.

On April 28, 2009, the Houston Police Department (HPD) received a call from a person claiming that the minor daughter of a friend was being held against her will and being prostituted at several bars in Houston. Several days later, on May 4, 2009, the same person called again and provided a telephone number. Through further investigation, officers determined the number was associated with an apartment located in Houston. Armed with the information, HPD officers rescued the minor and arrested all three defendants.

The filing of criminal charges is the result of a cooperative investigative effort conducted by members of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance in Houston, which includes HPD, Harris County District Attorney's Office, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Harris County Sheriff's Office and the United States Attorney's Office. Social Services were provided to the victim by Catholic Charities and Office of Refugee and Resettlement. This office is especially appreciative of the cooperation and assistance provided by HPD and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the non-governmental service agencies for their cooperation and assistance in this case.

Assistant United States Attorneys Ruben R. Perez and Joseph Magliolo prosecuted this case.

 

 

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