DALLAS, TX – An investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas and the North Texas Trafficking Task Force led to the arrest of a 33-year-old Dallas man for human trafficking.
According to ICE, on Jan. 29, the perpetrator was charged via criminal complaint with one count of child sex trafficking and faces a potential life sentence. He made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford Northern District of Texas at the same time.
“Apprehending human traffickers who take advantage of our most vulnerable and rescuing those exploited will always be a top priority for HSI,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge HSI Dallas. “We will go to no end to combat the scourge that is human trafficking and the members of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force will never relent until every trafficker is behind bars and every victim is rescued.”
The criminal complaint indicated that the individual, allegedly trafficked at least two women, including a 14-year-old girl, out of a hotel off LBJ Freeway in Dallas.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit human beings for some type of labor or commercial sex purpose. Every year, millions of men, women, and children worldwide—including in the United States—are victims of human trafficking. Victims are often lured with false promises of well-paying jobs or are manipulated by people they trust, but instead are forced or coerced into prostitution, domestic servitude, farm or factory labor, or other types of forced labor.
“Child sex trafficking is one of the most vile crimes we see in north Texas. This defendant allegedly used and abused a middle-school-aged child for monetary gain,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “We are thankful that the North Texas Trafficking Task Force was able to not only apprehend the perpetrator, but also recover the victim and get her to safety.”
The North Texas Trafficking Taskforce, led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas, arrested the culprit as he was leaving the hotel, where they also recovered the 14-year-old minor inside a room on the second floor.
The victim told investigators that the defendant ordered her to engage in commercial sex, forcing her to earn $1,000 a day, turning all proceeds over to him. She said he physically assaulted her on multiple occasions and deprived her of food and shelter.
Investigators reviewed online advertisements, allegedly posted by the accused, featuring pictures of the victim and the sexual services being offered commercially.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Homeland Security Investigations Dallas led North Texas Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the Colleyville Police Department, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.