Author: Click2Houston.com Staff
Published On: Oct 11 2013 03:20:59 PM CDT Updated On: Oct 11 2013 03:31:38 PM CDT
We're learning new details about a series of raids around Houston. Authorities had a busy night Thursday, rescuing many young girls who may have been part of a human trafficking ring.
Now authorities say they have arrested the so-called ringleader and other suspects of what they say is a very well-organized operation.
The FBI says Hortencia Medeles-Arguello and three other individuals are responsible for running a human sex trafficking ring here in Houston. The indictment lists seven charges including sex trafficking conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens.
Authorities woman and children worked long hours in cantinas and were sold to men for money. They were sometimes beaten if their customers were not satisfied.
More than $12 million and multiple properties have been seized in the case, according to authorities.
In the last two and a half years, the Human Trafficking Task Force says they rescued 12 victims, and five of those were children.
In Thursday night's raids, an additional 21 people, who may be victims , are being held as witnesses.
Authorities believe there are more victims and are asking any other victims to come forward.