Final Defendant Arrested in Conspiracy to Traffic Minors for Sex
HOUSTON—Franciso Guerra Yvinni Pleitez has been arrested and is set to appear in court on charges including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor by force and coercion, sex trafficking of a minor and an alien harboring and transporting conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Pleitez is charged along with Jose William Quintanilla, Adelio de Jesus Batres and Hugo Alexander Melendez aka “El Gordo,” who were arrested last month.
The four-count sealed indictment was returned Oct. 1, 2014, and unsealed as to each defendant as they were taken into custody. Melendez, 36, was arrested Oct. 12, 2014, while Quintanilla, 40, and Batres, 52, were taken into custody the following day. The indictment had remained sealed as to Pleitez, 33, until his arrest last week in Denver, Colo. He is set for a counsel determination hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy in Houston.
The indictment alleges that from late 2010 to the present, all defendants conspired to cause a person less than 18 years of age to engage in a commercial sex act and did, in fact, cause two minor victims to engage in a commercial sex act. The defendants allegedly instructed minor undocumented victims and young women how to solicit and charge for commercial sex acts and collected the fees that were paid.
The indictment further alleges the four engaged in a conspiracy to harbor and conceal illegal aliens in Houston.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Davis is prosecuting.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.