HOUSTON, TX — Twenty-three members and associates of the Southwest Cholos (SWC) gang are facing trial for their part in allegedly smuggling illegal alien women and girls into the country to force them into sex trafficking. The indictment states that one of the girls was 14 when forced into prostitution.
These young women and girls were promised jobs in restaurants but were forced to work as prostitutes through use of force, fraud, and coercion, according to a federal indictment. The defendants tattooed their names or nicknames on the victims “to identify them as their property and demonstrate control over them,” a statement from federal officials said. Some of those smuggled paid up to $40,000 to be brought into the country illegally.
The SWC gang members divided a portion of the illegal sex proceeds among other gang members and associates, officials stated.
Prosecutors claim one of the SWC centers of operation is reported to be at the Carriage Way Apartment Complex on Dashwood in Houston near Bellaire, Texas. This complex also served as an SWC base of operations for drug and firearms trafficking. Other brothels were in apartments in Mexico.
The stash houses used as interim waypoints were in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Webb Counties, the indictment reveals.
According to the indictment, the SWC gang members and associates are also accused in conspiracy counts of drug trafficking of heroin and methamphetamines, selling illegal and stolen weapons, making false statements, illegal re-entry, and aggravated identity theft.
The alleged ringleaders in the criminal enterprise conduct include Freddy Montes, aka “King Mono,” Giovani Alexander Alecio, aka “Whiteboy,” and Maria Angelica Moreno-Reyna, aka “Patty.” According to the indictment, King Mono is one of Patty’s sons. Patty’s husband, Erik Ivan Alvarez-Chavez, and four other sons are accused of being SWC leaders and members.
A press notification from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas says that nine of those indicted are still at large. The public notice says that Bianca Stephanie Reyna aka “Troubles” (20), Claudia Jackely Soriano-Hernandez (26), and Juan Carlos Contreras-Cervantes (25) are all from Houston.
The FBI in Houston tweeted that these individuals are wanted for sex and drug trafficking, selling firearms, human smuggling, and identity theft:
These alleged gang members & associates are wanted for sex & drug trafficking, selling firearms, human smuggling & ID theft 713-693-5000 pic.twitter.com/5gYo19CeiL
Those who are thought to originally be from Houston but have fled to Mexico are Raul Moreno-Reyna aka “Coney” (53), William Alberto Lopez (27), Anadalit Duarte aka “Paola” (25), and Walter Alberto Lopez (26). Israel Juarez Sifuentes (43) and Melissa Bazan Dominguez aka “Missy” (50) are considered fugitives, and there are outstanding warrants for their arrests. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI Houston field office at 713-693-5000.
Defendants Jose Ruben Palomo-Martinez, Victor Javiel Gonzalez, Gabriela Gonzalez-Flores, and Jimmy Mejia Chavez are set for jury trials on December 26.
U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller is presiding over these cases.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.