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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Greenville, TX Man Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison For Transporting A Minor To Mexico For Sexual Purposes

In Midland today, U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell sentenced 35-year-old Joel Aguirre-Lara of Greenville, TX, to life in federal prison for transporting a minor to Mexico for sexual purposes announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez in El Paso.

On October 15, 2014, a jury convicted Aguirre-Lara of one count of transportation of a minor to engage in sexual activity and one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 12.  Evidence presented at trial revealed that on January 10, 2014, Aguirre-Lara, formerly of Del Rio, TX, transported a minor female across the border to Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, where he then proceeded to engage in sexual activity with the minor.  Testimony during trial also revealed that Aguirre-Lara had sexual relations with the minor female over a period of approximately three years beginning when she was eight years old.

On April 9, 2014, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the victim’s mother regarding the sexual assault of the victim in this case.  The victim was taken to the Midland Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center for an evaluation and interview.  A federal criminal complaint was filed on April 11, 2014, and an arrest warrant was issued for Aguirre-Lara.  He was arrested on April 15, 2014, in Greenville, TX, and has remained in federal custody ever since.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) together with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Midland County Sheriff’s Office and the Midland Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center.  Assistant United States Attorney Austin Berry prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated November 30, 2015