Jesus Duenas-Barajas, 53, a Mexican National illegally residing in Houston, has been ordered to prison following his convictions of submitting a false statement on a U.S. passport application and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Duenas-Barajas pleaded guilty July 7.
Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Duenas-Barajas a total of 30 months in federal prison – 24 months for the aggravated identity theft and another six months for the false statement conviction. As an illegal alien, Duenas-Barajas is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
On or about Feb. 10, 2012, Duenas-Barajas completed a DS-11 U.S. Passport application at the Westfield Post Office in Houston, using the identity of a boy who had died in 1978. On that application, he represented he was that person and provided the deceased victim’s date of birth, Social Security number and birth certificate.
Evidence indicates Duenas-Barajas had been using the deceased boy’s identity since as early as 1986. During that time, he had also been able to obtain a driver’s license using the deceased boy’s identifiers.
Duenas-Barajas will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The investigation was conducted by the Department of State and Social Security Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Searle is prosecuting.
Three Charged in a Conspiracy to Traffic Minors for Sex Jose William Quintanilla, Adelio de Jesus Batres and Hugo Alexander Melendez aka “El Gordo” have been arrested over the last few days on multiple charges including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor by force and coercion, sex trafficking of a minor and an alien harboring and transporting conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The four-count sealed indictment was returned Oct. 1, and unsealed as to each defendant as they were taken into custody. Melendez, 36, was arrested Sunday, while Quintanilla, 40, and Batres, 52, were taken into custody yesterday. The three El Salvadorian men are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson at 2 p.m. today.
The indictment alleges that from late 2010 to the present, all three defendants conspired to cause a person less than 18 years of age to engage in a commercial sex act and did, in fact, cause two minor victims to engage in a commercial sex act. The defendants allegedly instructed minor undocumented victims and young women how to solicit and charge for commercial sex acts and collected the fees that were paid.
The indictment further alleges the three engaged in a conspiracy to harbor and conceal illegal aliens in Houston.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Davis is prosecuting.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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