Mother and Son Sentenced for Harboring Illegal Alien, Ordered to Forfeit House
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2009|
HOUSTON—Gregoria Vasquez-Salgado and her son, David Salazar, have been sentenced to prison for harboring an illegal alien and ordered to forfeit the residence in which the minor was held, United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Thomas E. Perez, announced today.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake today sentenced Vasquez, 59, a Mexican citizen, and her son, Salazar, 28, a United States citizen, to serve 27 months in federal prison each for harboring a female illegal alien in their Houston residence. Those prison terms are to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Salazar was also fined $4,000. Judge Lake also entered a final order of forfeiture to the United States of Vasquez’ house located at 1320 Jennifer Lane in Houston.
On March 7, 2008, Jacinto City police officers were dispatched to the Jennifer Lane residence and made contact with a female Mexican national and Vasquez-Salgado, who claimed the female was her son’s girlfriend. Vasquez-Salgado also stated she permitted the female and her son to live with her at her residence and that she knew the female was not legal—that she had been brought illegally from Mexico to the United States.
During an interview at the Jacinto City police station, the female told officers she had lived at the Jennifer Lane residence with both Vasquez and Salazar for about two and a half months. Later, Salazar arrived and was also interviewed by Jacinto City Police officers. Salazar admitted he knew the female did not have “any papers,” meaning he knew she was illegally in the United States.
On May 7, 2009, Vasquez-Salgado and Salazar were indicted by a federal grand jury for harboring an illegal alien. At that time, Vasquez was already in federal custody—charged and convicted for entering the United States illegally. On May 8, 2009, Vasquez-Salgado was sentenced to 12 months in prison for that conviction. Investigating agents arrested her son at the courthouse after he arrived to attend his mother's court hearing on the harboring charges.
Both Vasquez and Salazar pleaded guilty in July 2009 to the harboring charge. Vasquez has been in custody serving her sentence on the illegal entry conviction and will remain in custody to serve the sentence on the present charge. She is subject to deportation upon completion of her prison term. Salazar has been on bond and has been permitted to remain on bond pending the issuance of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI with the assistance of the Jacinto City Police Department—all members of the Houston Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA). The HTRA was founded in August 2004 to bring together the expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement to target those engaged in human trafficking and through non-governmental service providers to provide support and services for their victims.
Assistant United States Attorneys Ruben Perez, Joseph Magliolo and Daniel Menes and Civil Rights Division attorney Kayla Bakshi prosecuted this case for the government.