02-01-2004, 11:13 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
TX - Eight charged in sex slavery, human trafficking operation
McALLEN — The ringleader of a sex slavery and human trafficking operation whose participants raped women and forced them to work against their will was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison today.
Juan Carlos Soto, 26, of Nueva Italia, Michoacán, Mexico, had pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary servitude and human trafficking offenses in August of last year.
Soto was also ordered to pay $11,532 in restitution to the victims.
Before Federal District Judge Randy Crane handed down his sentence, Soto blamed the influence of drugs and alcohol and repented.
“I apologize to the people I have harmed,” Soto said.
“This is worse than bad,” Crane responded. “It’s almost like raping children. They couldn’t call for help because they were here illegally.”
Authorities charged that Soto smuggled 121 people through the McAllen/Edinburg corridor. In addition, Soto admitted to holding by force four women, ages 19, 19, 22 and 40 that he and others in his ring raped and beat them repeatedly.
The women were held in an Edinburg trailer used as a safehouse for smuggled persons.
In all, seven men involved in the operation pleaded guilty.
On Thursday, five men, including two of Soto’s brothers, received sentences between four months and 10 years. A sixth man, Jose Villa-Zavala did not appear for sentencing and is wanted by authorities.
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02-02-2004, 12:49 PM #2Former Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
Cass, where do you think they got the just over $11,000 figure as restitution for the victims? Can you believe that figure? Why bother at all?
05-20-2015, 08:34 PM #3
From August 2006:
The last of eight Mexican nationals charged for their roles in a sex slavery conspiracy pled guilty in McAllen, Texas... Hector Soto, a 23-year old Mexican national is one of several brothers charged in an August 2003 indictment for their roles in a family-based alien smuggling operation that smuggled and held captive Mexican and Central American women who were then forced to cook, clean and submit to the sexual demands of the smugglers...
Hector Soto's brothers, Juan Carlos Soto, 31, and Armando Soto-Huarto, 24, and another co-defendant, Martin Cortez-Gutierrez, 29, all pleaded guilty in August 2003 to charges of involuntary servitude and human trafficking offenses... Juan Carlos Soto and Martin Cortez-Gutierrez also pled guilty to State rape charges for their actions against the women. Four other members of the conspiracy each pled guilty during the summer of 2003 to alien smuggling and related charges...
In January 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane sentenced Juan Carlos Soto to 23 years in federal prison, without parole; Armando Soto-Huarto was sentenced to ten years in prison; and Martin Cortez-Gutierrez to 14 years. Other low-level members of the conspiracy received prison sentences ranging from four to 27 months in prison.
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