A Texas woman and her son are facing federal charges in connection with a large-scale sex-trafficking operation which allegedly ran for longer than 23 years. The victims were reportedly young women and underage girls from northern Mexico.
This week, Rita Martinez went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia Medrano, who notified her of the formal charges and ordered she be held without bond, court documents revealed. Martinez’s son, Genaro Fuentes, is expected to make his appearance later this week.
The charges against Martinez and her son stem from an 11 count federal indictment a grand jury handed down late last month under seal. Both mother and son were already in state custody on local charges.
According to the indictment, Martinez would allegedly recruit women and underage girls in the Mexican states of Durango and Coahuila, promising jobs in U.S. restaurants or maid service companies. The woman would then allegedly make arrangements with human smugglers to cross the victims into south Texas. All human smuggling activities in the Rio Grande Valley are controlled by the Gulf Cartel.
Once the women arrived in Mission, Texas, Martinez would allegedly force them to work at a bar to pay off smuggling debts, the indictment revealed. The women would work at Martinez’s bar by drinking beers with patrons. Court documents show that for each beer a client drank or bought for them, they would get a certain amount deducted from their debts.
Prosecutors claim Martinez and her son would force the women to have sex with customers for profit. The customers would take the women to hotels or vehicles for the encounters.
Authorities also claimed Martinez would physically abuse the women who refused to have sex and warned to turn them over to immigration authorities or threaten the safety of their families in Mexico.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at [email protected].
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