Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 22, 2016
Four Ordered to Prison for Sex Trafficking of Minors
HOUSTON – A total of four people who were residing in Houston have been sentenced to federal prison for their respective roles related to the sex trafficking of minors, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Luisa Vargas, a legal permanent resident residing in Houston, was convicted of sex trafficking of a minor and harboring illegal aliens following a bench trial June 19, 2015, while Dolores Vargas, also a legal permanent resident in Houston; Blasina Vargas, a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in Houston; and Ignacio Escandon, a citizen of Cuba, had previously pleaded guilty to engaging in the sex trafficking of minors.
Today, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ordered Luisa Vargas to serve 120 months in federal prison. Blasina and Delores each received a sentence of 60 months, while Escandon will serve an 87-month term of imprisonment.
From at least February 2012, the defendants employed women and a girl less than age 18 as prostitutes in the Westview apartments being used as a brothel. These women and young girl were instructed as to how much money to charge their clients for commercial sex. Approximately half of the proceeds were given to the defendants. As a general practice, the price paid was $40 for 15 minutes of sex. The defendants knew that most, if not all, of the ladies employed for the purpose of prostitution were aliens illegally within the United States.
All will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the future.
The charges were the of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, FBI, Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doug Davis and Julie Searle prosecuted the case.