MCALLEN, Texas–A federal judge denied bond for a husband and wife accused of kidnapping an illegal immigrant from Honduras and threatening her family with decapitating her or selling her off to a brothel if they didn’t pay a ransom.
On Tuesday, 31-year-old Juan Carlos Rosales and his wife 34 year-old Maria Cruz Sanchez went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos who told them that since the two Mexican nationals were in the country illegally they weren’t eligible to be released on bond.
Federal agents from McAllen, Texas arrested the two last week following a call from U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, DC after Alexandria Police in Virginia reported that a woman was being held for ransom by human smugglers, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas show. The human smugglers are accused of calling Sandra Murillo and telling her that if she didn’t’ pay $2,000 they would decapitate her sister or sell her to a brothel. The victim’s name has been sealed by order of court and her name was redacted from the court records obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The documents also do not show if the woman was the victim of abuse, a practice that has become very common in human stash houses. Recently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said during a visit to South Texas that so far U.S. Border Patrol had more than 40 cases of women getting raped by smugglers but that he believed the number was a lot higher since many victims refuse to come forward.
HSI agents traced the phone and with the help of Hidalgo County Constables raided the home last week where they found the woman and another man from Honduras who was also being held for ransom.
During the court hearing, HSI agent Robert Carrera testified about the operation and that Rosales and his wife had been connected to the smuggling of other individuals to Houston in recent weeks.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz.