22 Alleged Gang Members Indicted for Multiple Violent Crimes
Houston
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Former First Lady Barbara Bush's funeral arrangements
ߦ   Baby killer Genene Jones back in San Antonio court
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriffs Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Canine Distemper Closes Animal Shelter
ߦ   Charges filed in shooting of deputy constables
ߦ   Constables arrest suspect for Failure to Stop and Render Aid
ߦ   Dickinson PD Will 'Play It Cool' This Summer
ߦ   DWI gets driver $1k fine 10 days in county jail
ߦ   Former FBI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified National Defense Information
ߦ   Investigation into Fatal Crash at 3000 North Sam Houston Parkway East
ߦ   Local Businessman Sentenced for Credit Card Fraud and ID Theft
ߦ   Major Takedown Dismantles Multi-State Heroin and Fentanyl Network
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Arrests/Activity Summary
ߦ   Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive, Gang Member from Austin
ߦ   Suspect arrested for Intoxication Assault after crash leaves victim seriously injured
ߦ   UPDATE: Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Crash at 11401 South Post Oak
ߦ   Update: Unified Command responds to gas pipeline fire near Port O'Connor
ߦ   17 Huntsville prisoners on hunger strike after lockdown following feces-throwing, other infractions
ߦ   Brownsville man convicted of stabbing 85-year-old woman with screwdriver gets execution date
ߦ   Constable deputy wounded in shootout in Atascocita
ߦ   David Buckel, prominent gay rights lawyer, burns himself to death in New York to protest global warming
ߦ   Deputy Constable Wounded In Shooting
ߦ   Deputy cries as he describes San Antonio children tied up like dogs
ߦ   Joining Forces to Fight Child Abuse
ߦ   MS-13 is a street gang, not a drug cartel. Why it matters in the US?
ߦ   Northeast Texas man on death row for strangling girlfriend turned down by Supreme Court
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Acitivty/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Registration underway for Kids’ College at Galveston College
ߦ   Texas driver tries to pass off a cardboard license plate, but constable calls it out online
ߦ   Bacliff-Seabrook Chase Ends In Crash
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Weekend Arrests Summary
ߦ   Clara Harris, who fatally ran over her cheating husband, to be released from prison in May
ߦ   Coast Guard medevacs injured fisherman near Corpus Christi
ߦ   Deputy shot in the face, chest while conducting investigation
ߦ   Gang Units Jails Four In Prostitution Sting

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:

HOUSTON – More than a dozen alleged members and associates of the Southwest Cholos street gang are set to appear in federal court on a variety of charges to include sex trafficking, drug trafficking, selling firearms, human smuggling and identity theft, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.  

 

A federal grand jury returned the 37-count indictment Nov. 2, 2017. It was partially unsealed today following a motion in federal court.

 

Those arrested during the enforcement actions yesterday include Houston residents Giovani Alecio aka Whiteboy, 26, Victor Javiel Gonzalez, 29, Maria Angelica Moreno-Reyna aka Patty, 51, Gabriela Gonzalez-Flores aka Gabby, 46, Eddie Torres aka Monterrey 38, Jose Luis Moreno aka Lucky, 23, Gilberto Espinoza Garcia, 49, Hector Reyna aka Pantera, 26; Jimmy Mejia Chavez, 33; and Grisel Salas aka Cris, 34, of Donna; and Jose Ruben Palomo-Martinez, 48, of Mission. Those arrested in the Houston area are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson at 10:00 a.m. today.

 

Two more defendants – Erik Ivan Alvarez-Chavez aka Casa, 39, and Denis Amaya Calballero aka Keiko, 25, both of Houston - were already in custody on related charges and are expected to make their appearances in federal court in the near future.

 

Nine others are also charged but not as yet in custody. Bianca Stephanie Reyna aka Troubles, 20, Claudia Soriano-Hernandez, 26, Juan Carlos Contreras Cervantes, 25, all from Houston; Raul Moreno Reyna aka Coney, 53,William Alberto Lopez, 27, Anadalit Duarte aka Paola, 25, and Walter Lopez, 26, all originally from Houston but believed to have fled to Mexico; and Israel Juarez Sifuentes, 43, and Melissa Dominguez aka Missy, 50, both of Donna; are considered fugitives and warrants remain outstanding for their arrests. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI Houston field office at 713-693-5000.  

 

All of the defendants are indicted in the criminal scheme as alleged members or affiliates of the Southwest Cholos. All are charged in varying counts to include multiple conspiracy counts; sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion; transportation to engage in prostitution; enticing or coercing another to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution; transportation of illegal aliens; importation of aliens for immoral purposes; possession with the intent to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines; illegal dealing of firearms; felon in possession of a firearm; illegal re-entry; false statements; and aggravated identity theft.  

 

According to the indictment, the defendants operated several brothels in apartments throughout Houston as well as in Mexico. The primary location was the Carriage Way Apartment Complex on Dashwood in southwest Houston, which was also home to their base of operations for drug and firearms trafficking, according to the allegations.

 

In the sex trafficking scheme, illegal aliens were allegedly promised they could work in a restaurant to pay off their smuggling debts. After arriving in Houston, however, victims were told they actually had to work as prostitutes in brothels the alleged gang members controlled. The indictment alleges the defendants engaged in numerous acts and threats of violence against the victims and their families whenever the women refused to work as prostitutes or failed to make enough money.

 

The indictment further alleges the defendants would tattoo their names or nicknames on the victims to identify them as their property and demonstrate control over them. 

 

Authorities have identified at least six trafficking victims, the youngest of whom was 14. At the time of arrests, seven more victims were found in the brothels.

 

Some of the defendants also allegedly engaged in human smuggling separate from the sex trafficking scheme. The indictment alleges at least nine aliens have been identified as being smuggled through stash houses some of the defendants controlled in the Rio Grande Valley to locations in Houston. The smuggled aliens paid substantial sums, including two Chinese nationals who each paid more than $40,000, according to the charges. During the enforcement actions yesterday, 16 more smuggled aliens were discovered in area stash houses.

 

The indictment also alleges several counts of heroin and methamphetamine trafficking and the selling of numerous stolen firearms

 

If convicted of sex trafficking, the defendants face a minimum of 15 years and up to life imprisonment. Those charged with the drug trafficking also face up to life with a minimum of 10 years as possible punishment. The human smuggling charges carry a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, while those convicted in the illegal trafficking of firearms face another five years imprisonment.

 

Soriano-Hernandez, Mejia-Chavez and Contreras-Cervantes were also indicted for illegally re-entering the United States following deportation for which they face up to two years imprisonment, while Javiel Gonzalez is also charged as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and faces up to 10 years imprisonment.

 

Alvarez-Chavez also allegedly stole the identity of a Salvadoran man so he could obtain temporary protected status as a citizen of that country. If convicted, he faces a mandatory two years which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.

 

The FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation as part of both the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA). The case is also an example of the coordination among law enforcement who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative announced in June 2017 which combines personnel and resources from numerous federal, state and local agencies. The goal of the initiative is to proactively fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater Houston area by targeting the region’s most violent offenders, augmenting investigative and prosecutorial efforts, and enhancing training, public awareness and education.

 

Established in 2004, the United States Attorney’s office in Houston formed the HTRA to combine resources with federal, state and local law 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 a national model in identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking and prosecuting those engaged in trafficking offenses. In 2016, the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance received $1.5 million in federal funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office for Victims of Crime through the Enhanced Collaborative Model Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Program, which provides funding to investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking and provide services to victims.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Goldman is prosecuting the case.

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet   Shared 1 times
© 1999-2018 The Police News. All rights reserved.