HOUSTON, Texas – A $50,000 reward is being offered for the arrest of a Mexican national wanted on charges related to sex trafficking little girls and women. A massive digital billboard announced the reward for the wanted illegal alien.
Alfonso “Poncho” Diaz-Juarez, 45, is accused of being a “padrote” or pimp for his role in a conspiracy that led to charges filed against 18 people. The people were accused of being part of a 2013 international sex-trafficking scheme that would bring women and young girls to Houston and force them into prostitution in east-side cantinas, the Houston Chronicle reported.
FBI investigators told KTRK ABC13 in Houston that they believe that Diaz-Juarez hides out in the Houston area, Mexico, or perhaps travels in between.
An indictment of the individuals, including Diaz-Juarez, obtained by Breitbart Texas states that the wanted man was, “an illegal alien as well as a padrote (pimp),” and that he “made an agreement to rent Las Palmas II” from one of the other suspects “for the purpose of continuing the commercial sex enterprise.”
According to the FBI:
The sex-trafficking conspiracy operated from 1999 through October 2013 and relied on “padrotes,” or pimps, to supply women and girls for the brothels, bars, and cantinas owned and operated by co-conspirators. Diaz-Juarez is one of these pimps. During the investigation, it was revealed that some women and girls were compelled into performing commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, coercion, or a combination thereof, including the use of locked rooms to maintain control over the young women and girls. Diaz-Juarez used force and/or violence to punish and control young females he prostituted in the Houston area.
A federal arrest warrant was issued on October 10, 2013.
Six months before this warrant was issued, Diaz-Juarez was serving time in the Harris County jail on similar charges of compelling prostitution. The charge is a Texas crime associated with human trafficking, the Chronicle stated. He was sentenced in January of that year to serve one year in jail as part of a plea agreement with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. At the time, the office was not aware of the federal investigation into the suspect. He was released in April, 2013 after being credited for time served. His conviction arose from a 2010 investigation that was similar in nature to the current charges.
County records reveal that an ICE Detainer had been placed on Diaz-Juarez by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials prior to his release from the Harris County Jail, the Chronicle reported. The jail at that time was under the direction of former Sheriff Adrian Garcia who recently announced his candidacy for a congressional seat after failing in his attempt to become mayor of Houston. It is not known if the suspect was picked up by ICE or was simply released onto the streets of Houston. Breitbart Texas has reached out to the sheriff’s office for clarification.
The indictment states that the women and young girls were “compelled into commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, coercion, and a combination of such means.” They were kept in locked rooms and “violence was used to punish and control the young women and girls.” The conspirators would charge “rent” for the rooms where sex would occur. Customers would also pay from $65 for 15 minutes to $500 per hour for minors.
The $20 “condom fee” and charges for use of the rooms netted the conspirators $1,265,820 over a nine year period, the indictment states.
Earlier this year, Breitbart Texas’ Rob Milford reported on the related trial of Hortencia Medeles, 68, allegedly the matriarch of the conspiracy. Twelve others had already pleaded guilty in the conspiracy.
The FBI regards Diaz-Juarez as the most violent of the individuals involved in the conspiracy. He, alone among the conspirators, remains at large.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.