Arrests Part of Nationwide “Operation Cross Country”
El Paso resident Charles Marquez, age 51, and 38-year-old Martha Jimenez Sanchez of Juarez, Mexico, are scheduled to have detention hearings tomorrow in federal court in El Paso in connection with a prostitution scheme involving a minor based in El Paso announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Morgan and ICE-HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Dennis Ulrich.
Earlier this month, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Marquez and Jimenez with one count of sex trafficking of children; one count of conspiracy to coerce and entice undocumented aliens to engage in sexual activity; and, importation of an undocumented alien for immoral purpose. Marquez is also charged with one substantive count of coercion and enticement; Jimenez, one count of transportation for prostitution.
The indictment, alleges that from August 2007 through February 2012, the defendants, aided and abetted by one another, conspired to implement a prostitution scheme involving a minor. According to the indictment, the defendants recruited women in Mexico through the placement of advertisements in a Ciudad Juarez newspaper offering jobs in the United States. Once recruited, the defendants arranged to transport the females to El Paso and harbor them in local motels for the purpose of prostitution.
Federal authorities arrested Marquez on Thursday, June 21, 2012; Sanchez, the following day. Upon conviction of: sex trafficking of children, the defendants face between ten years and life in federal prison; importation of an undocumented alien for immoral purpose, up to 20 years’ imprisonment; and, conspiracy to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, up to five years’ imprisonment. Also, Marquez faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment upon conviction of the coercion charge; Jimenez, up to ten years’ imprisonment upon conviction of the transportation for prostitution charge.
Marquez is scheduled to have his detention hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. before United States Magistrate
Judge Richard Mesa; Jimenez, at 11:00 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Robert F. Castaneda.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICEHSI) as part of the nationwide Operation Cross Country which focuses on child prostitution. Assistant United States Attorney Rifian Newaz is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.