Young Brenham Woman Charged with Trafficking of a Minor
HOUSTON - A 22-year-old Brenham woman is set to appear in federal court following the return of a three-count indictment alleging sex trafficking of a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Samantha Sanders, previously in state custody, is expected to make her initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina Bryan at 10:00 a.m.
The federal indictment was returned June 18, 2019.
Sanders is charged with recruiting, harboring and soliciting three minor victims for commercial sex acts. The victims were under the age of 18 at the time of the sexual encounters, according to the indictment. Sanders is alleged to have benefited financially from her involvement in the trafficking of the minor victims.
If convicted, she faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department as part of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA).
HTRA law enforcement includes members of the Houston Police Department, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Attorney General’s Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Department of Labor, Department of State, Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission, Texas Department of Public Safety, Coast Guard 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. Attorneys Jill Stotts and Lisa Collins are prosecuting the case.
A indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.