HOUSTON – A local gang member has been ordered into custody on charges of child sex trafficking, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.
Today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Sheldon ordered Porter Bush, 44, Houston, into custody pending further criminal proceedings.
The indictment, returned May 13, alleges Bush trafficked a 14-year-old girl from February to June 2018.
On June 25, 2018, authorities allegedly found and recovered the young girl near the Bissonnet Track after she got into a car with a potential client. The charges allege law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle, at which time Bush pretended to be the 14-year-old’s stepfather.
The Bissonnet Track is a known area near 59 Southwest Freeway and Bissonnet Street where traffickers place minor and adult victims for commercial sex, according to the charges.
If convicted, Bush faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The Houston Police Department conducted the investigation as part of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA).
HTRA law enforcement also includes members of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Attorney General’s Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Department of Labor (DOL), DOL – Wage and Hour Division, Department of State, Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission, Texas Department of Public Safety, Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General (OIG), Social Security Administration – OIG and Sheriff’s Offices in Harris and Montgomery counties in coordination with District Attorney’s offices in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend Counties.
Established in 2004, the United States Attorney’s office in Houston formed HTRA to combine resources with federal, state and local enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental service organizations to target human traffickers while providing necessary services to those that the traffickers victimized. Since its inception, HTRA has been recognized as both a national and international model in identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking and prosecuting those engaged in trafficking offenses.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Suh is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.