Maria Isabel Cruz and her co-conspirator, Roger Galindo-Sepeda, are wanted for their alleged involvement in the trafficking of more than 30 young women, some of whom were under the age of 18, from Honduras to the United States. Once in the United States, the women were forced to work in bars owned by Cruz and Galindo-Sepeda to pay off their debts to the smugglers who brought them into the country.
The victims, frequently young, illiterate females from rural areas, were lured into the enterprise with promises of gainful employment as waitresses or maids. Once the victims arrived in Texas, they were informed that they were indebted to the leader of the enterprise in the amount of $7,000 to $10,000, and they would have to work off their debt. The victims were then quartered in safe houses with virtually no contact with the outside world. After being forced to wear excessive makeup and immodest clothing, the victims were then transported to clubs managed by the subjects and were forced to engage in prostitution. Women who refused to comply were threatened with being reported to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and imprisoned. Additionally, threats were made to harm the victims' families in Honduras and to inform the families of the victims' involvement in prostitution.
On May 24, 2002, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, after Cruz was charged federally with conspiring to engage in a conspiracy to conceal, harbor, and shield from detection in houses and apartments, certain aliens, knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that such aliens had come to, entered, and remained in the United States in violation of the law.