September 3, 2014

El Paso Man Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison on Human Trafficking Charges

In El Paso today, 54-year-old Charles Marquez was sentenced to life in federal prison and fined $10,000 for his role in a prostitution scheme involving a minor announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Douglas E. Lindquist and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich.

On November 21, 2013, a federal jury convicted Marquez of one count each of sex trafficking of a minor; sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; transporting for prostitution; conspiracy to coerce or entice a minor to engage in sexually explicit activity; coercion or enticement; and, importation of an undocumented alien for immoral purpose.

Testimony during trial revealed that from August 2007 through February 2012, Marquez conspired with 41-year-old Martha Jimenez Sanchez of Juarez, Mexico, to recruit women in Mexico for their prostitution scheme by placing advertisements in a Ciudad Juarez newspaper offering jobs in the United States. Once recruited, the defendants arranged to transport the females to El Paso, harbor them in local motels and force them to commit prostitution for the financial benefit of the defendants.

“The sentencing of Marquez is an affirmation of the dedication, commitment, and hard work of the FBI, HSI, and our state and local partners to work diligently in keeping the El Paso Community safe. Collectively, we will continue to seek out, investigate and prosecute those individuals and criminal enterprises that target the underprivileged and children for Human Trafficking,” stated FBI SAC Douglas E. Lindquist, El Paso Division.

“HSI is relentless in its investigations of transnational criminal organizations that exploit immigrants and children for their own financial gain,” said HSI SAC Dennis A. Ulrich, El Paso Division. “HSI will continue to work effectively with our other federal partners as well as our international counterparts to identify and dismantle human trafficking rings.”

Sanchez faces up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty on November 26, 2012, to one count of transportation for prostitution. Sanchez, who was released on bond after pleading guilty, is a fugitive.

This case was investigated by the FBI together with HSI as part of the nationwide Operation Cross Country which focuses on child prostitution. Assistant United States Attorney Rifian Newaz and Steve Spitzer are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.