Marc Anthony Bane, 32, from Porter, Texas and Tara Renee Dillon, 33, from Conroe, Texas appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Dos Santos who charged the couple for their role in human smuggling.
A 43-year-old resident of Rosharon is set to make an appearance in Laredo federal court on allegations he attempted to smuggle dozens of undocumented non-citizens, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Brodrick Keith Rhodes, 32, was sentenced July 8 in federal court to 50 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. During sentencing, the judge noted that had transported an exceptionally high number of noncitizens in his trailer.
As a result of an investigation by HSI Los Angeles, Jerome Terry Jr., 45, of Chicago, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. In his plea agreement, Terry agreed to a prison sentence of between seven and 15 years in federal prison.
Beginning on July 8, 2021, the operation focused on identifying and recovering potential human trafficking victims as well as identifying those seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. Law enforcement placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases.
Christian Alexander Augustus, 25, aka “Sir Ceeco,” pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a minor in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution and criminal sexual activity, the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force -- which in addition to HSI, includes local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The results of the operation were announced by Homeland Security Investigations Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Kansas City, James Wright. He was joined by Heartland Anti-Trafficking Rescue Taskforce partners from across the region in making the announcement.
Clarence Chambers, aka Chris, 29, is expected to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Bray. Also charged are Javon Opoku, aka Glizzy, 20; Damarquis McGee, aka Lil Blue, 23; and Andres Portillo, aka Andro, 20. Portillo is set for an initial appearance on July 1 at 2 p.m., while McGee and Opoku are set for their initial appearances on July 6 at 10 a.m.
Emmanuel Oppongagyare, 20, and Ralph Gregory Saint-Joie, 18, were charged with human smuggling. Saint-Joie is an active duty member of the U.S. Army, while Oppongagyare is a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Both men are stationed at Fort Hood.
On June 10, HSI special agents arrested Manuel de Jesus Ochoa-Vasquez, 38; Carlos Barron-Arredondo, 46; Fabiola Flores-Galves, 46; Isaac Gonzalez-Matul, 34; Oscar Roberto Mejia-De Leon, 25; Saul Martinez-Mercado, 35; Argeo Mendoza-Galvez, 48; Sandra Cuevas-Montesinos, 45; Rolando Cota-Leyva 39; David Lopez-Laurean, 30; Ronaldo Garde-Cienfuegos, 40; and Juan Manuel Osorio-Felix, 36.
A two-day undercover operation involving HSI and multiple Tennessee local and state law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of six individuals accused of seeking illicit sex from minors.
Aron Bernard Griffin, 49, was arrested without incident. On Friday, he appeared before a U.S. federal court judge who charged him with smuggling undocumented noncitizens.
Xu Zhang, 31, a New York resident, was indicted in September 2019, after conspiring with his girlfriend and co-conspirator, Gao Xing, also a Chinese national, to destroy and conceal records pertinent to a federal grand jury investigation.
Concepcion Malinek, 50, of Cicero, Illinois, pleaded guilty last year to one count of labor trafficking. For the crime, she was sentenced to 78 months in prison and ordered to pay $112,545 in restitution to the victims.
Sebastian Tovar, 24, was indicted on multiple counts, which included conspiracy to transport noncitizens resulting in death and conspiracy to transport noncitizens resulting in serious bodily injury.
Brodrick Keith Rhodes, 32, from Houston, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court.
Noe Garza, 46, from Edinburg, Texas, was sentenced March 24 in U.S. district court to 63 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Garza pleaded guilty Nov. 2, 2020.
On March 17, Sebastian Tovar, 24, from Austin appeared in federal court and was charged for his role in a conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants resulting in death.
The five men were booked into the Obion County Jail in Union City on state charges, where a $10,000 bond was set for each.
In early February, the HSI led NTTTF supported by the USMS for the Northern District of Texas conducted a joint law-enforcement operation to locate the missing children reported through the NCIC database and law enforcement partners.