Three Albuquerque Residents Charged with Operating Sex Trafficking Organization
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 E. Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department announced the indictment of three residents of Albuquerque, N.M., on commercial sex trafficking offenses.
The indictment charges Cornelius Galloway, 34, Danielle Galloway, 43, and Matthew Woods, 28, with conspiracy, commercial sex trafficking and commercial sex trafficking of a minor. Cornelius Galloway and Danielle Galloway were arrested on May 17, 2017. Danielle Galloway made her initial appearance yesterday and was arraigned on the indictment this morning, entering a not guilty plea. Danielle Galloway was ordered detained pending trial during this morning’s proceedings. Cornelius Galloway made his initial appearance this morning in federal court and remains detained pending arraignment and detention hearings scheduled for May 22, 2017. Woods is in state custody on unrelated state charges; he will be transferred to federal custody for an arraignment hearing scheduled on May 30, 2017.
The four-count indictment charges the Galloways and Woods with participating in a conspiracy to engage in commercial sex trafficking by using force, threats, fraud and coercion. It also charges the three defendants with commercial sex trafficking and commercial sex trafficking of a minor. Woods also is charged with attempting to recruit a victim to engage in a commercial sex act. The Galloways and Woods allegedly committed the crimes charged in Bernalillo County, N.M., between Oct. 2016 and May 2017.
According to the indictment, the three defendants were members of a criminal sex trafficking organization allegedly led by Cornelius Galloway. The indictment alleges that Cornelius Galloway and Danielle Galloway promoted the organization’s commercial sex services by advertising on various websites between Oct. 2016 and May 2017. The indictment further alleges that the defendants forced a victim to engage in commercial sex acts from Oct. 2016 to Nov. 2016, and employed a minor victim to work as a prostitute for a two-week period in March and April 2017, for the financial benefit of the organization.
The indictment also alleges that members of the conspiracy murdered two individuals to further the objectives of the criminal sex trafficking organization. According to the indictment, two members of the conspiracy, identified as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, murdered a victim, identified as D.Y., on Jan. 15, 2017. John Doe 1 also allegedly murdered a second victim, identified as T.S. on that same day. The victims allegedly were murdered at the direction of Cornelius Galloway because their activities were contrary to the objectives of the criminal sex trafficking organization.
If convicted of the crimes charged in the indictment, Cornelius Galloway, Danielle Galloway and Woods each face a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison. Charges in indictment are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Albuquerque Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns.