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Press Release

Albuquerque Woman Transferred from Texas to New Mexico to Face Federal Sex Trafficking Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Angela Santillanes, 30, of Albuquerque, N.M., appeared in federal court this morning on an indictment charging her with a sex trafficking charge.  Santillanes remains in federal custody pending an arraignment on the indictment and a detention hearing, both of which are set for tomorrow.

Santillanes was arrested in Aug. 2015, in Dallas, Texas, on an indictment charging her and co-defendant Shane Roach, 26, also of Albuquerque, with commercial sex trafficking.  She was recently transferred to New Mexico to face the charge in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Roach and Santillanes used force, threats of force and coercion to cause the victim to engage in a commercial sex act between May and June 2015.  It alleges that the defendants committed this crime in Bernalillo County, N.M.

According to the criminal complaint filed in July 2015, the victim who allegedly was sex trafficked by Santillanes and Roach contacted the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) with a request for help on June 10, 2015.  During subsequent interviews, the victim alleged that she had been trafficked for sex by Roach for approximately a month and a half.  During that time, the victim allegedly was forced to engage in sex with men four or five times a day earning between $400.00 and $500.00, and Roach allegedly kept all the money.  During that time, Roach allegedly beat the victim on a number of occasions, and threatened to harm her family if she left him.

Roach was arrested in July 2015.  Trial for Roach is currently set for Dec. 2015, in Albuquerque.

If convicted of the offenses charged in the federal indictment, Santillanes and Roach each face a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison.  Charges in indictments and criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and APD’s Vice Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns is prosecuting the case.

Updated December 18, 2015

Human Trafficking