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Press Release

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Fifteen Years for Commercial Sex Trafficking Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, and Chief Gorden G. Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), announced that Shane Roach, 27, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced last week in federal court for his conviction on a commercial sex trafficking charge.


Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker sentenced Roach on April 13, 2017, to a fifteen-year term of imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release. Roach also was ordered to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence.


Roach was arrested on July 1, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with commercial sex trafficking. Roach subsequently was indicted and charged with using force, threats of threats, and coercion to force a victim to engage in commercial sex acts. The indictment charged Roach with committing the crime between May and June of 2015 in Bernalillo County, N.M.


Roach went to trial on the indictment on Oct. 4, 2016, and the jury returned a guilty verdict on Oct. 7, 2016.


During the trial, the victim told the jury that in early 2015, she was a heroin addict who turned to prostitution to support her heroin habit. The victim met Roach in late April 2015, and turned to him for help shortly thereafter when she fell on hard times. For the next month and a half, Roach was the victim’s pimp and forced her to engage in prostitution. The victim said that, during that time, Roach forced her to engage in sex with men four or five times a day, and that Roach kept all her earnings, amounting to $400.00 to $500.00 a day. The victim also testified that Roach beat her on a number of occasions, brandished a firearm at her, and threatened to harm her family if she left him. During the month and a half during which she was sex trafficked by Roach, the victim had only three or four days off.


An APD detective testified at trial that on May 27, 2015, while acting in an undercover capacity, he arranged to meet the victim at an Albuquerque-area hotel after getting her contact information from an online prostitution advertisement. The meeting was brief because the victim recognized the detective’s partner, who was outside, as a police officer, and told the undercover officer that there were officers outside. The undercover officer testified that, on June 10, 2015, APD received a call for help from the victim and he was one of the officers who responded. During that meeting, the victim told APD that she was being sex trafficked by Roach, and the investigation leading to Roach’s conviction began that day.


Roach testified in his own defense. While generally acknowledging that he was the victim’s pimp, Roach denied using threats of force, force or coercion to force to the victim to engage in commercial sex acts.


This case was investigated by the HSI office in Albuquerque and APD’s Vice Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Cairns and Kimberly A. Brawley prosecuted the case.

Updated April 18, 2017

Human Trafficking