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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 8, 2017

Three Men Sentenced in Human Smuggling Extortion Case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Three men have been sentenced for illegally transporting a 17-year old girl from El Salvador within the United States and demanding additional money from her family for her release.

According to court documents, Daniel Lopez-Martinez, 27, of Mexico, Juan Tomas Nicolas, 25, of Guatemala, and Ernesto Solis, Jr., 29, of Mission, Texas, worked together to transport a 17-year old girl from El Salvador within the United States for money. Once she arrived in Houston, multiple calls were made by the men to the girl’s father in Loudoun County. In the calls, the men demanded an additional $4,700. The men agreed to turn the girl over to the father only upon receipt and counting the money. The girl was rescued after FBI Agents and Task Force Officers in Houston interceded in the scheduled transfer of funds.

Solis was sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in prison today. Lopez-Martinez was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison on July 28, and Nicolas was sentenced to 2 years in prison on August 14.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Gregory C. Brown, Chief of Leesburg Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Cain prosecuted the case.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Offices’ Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, with assistance from the Leesburg Police Department, the FBI’s Houston Field Office, the FBI’s McAllen Resident Agency, the U.S. Border Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-6.

Topic(s): 
Human Smuggling
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated September 8, 2017