Three Charged in a Conspiracy to Traffic Minors for Sex
HOUSTON—Jose William Quintanilla, Adelio de Jesus Batres and Hugo Alexander Melendez aka “El Gordo” have been arrested over the last few days on multiple 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.
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 Sunday, while Quintanilla, 40, and Batres, 52, were taken into custody yesterday. The three El Salvadorian men are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson at 2:00 p.m. today.
The indictment alleges that from late 2010 to the present, all three 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 three 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 and Homeland Security Investigations. 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.