HOUSTON – Four people have been arrested and charged in connection with sex trafficking crimes in the Houston area.
Maria Botello, 54, Edgar Botello, 28, Arian Botello, 23 and Yudy Lucatero, 31, were all charged with sex trafficking after a criminal complaint was filed against them.
According to the complaint, Maria Botello and her family members engaged in the crime from 2007 through 2020. The group would coerce waitresses working at the Puerto Alegre bar in Houston into engaging in commercial sex acts, according to documents.
The charges state Maria Botello would coordinate with clients to set them with girls and would charge $70 for 15 minutes. Her son Edgar Botello and her nephew Arian Botello would act as enforcers and use weapons and threats to make sure the victims were compliant, according to the documents.
Maria Botello and her daughter Lucatero would discuss “the rules and procedures in relation to the sex trafficking,” according to a news release.
Authorities said they were able to identify one woman who was brought to the U.S. specifically to work at the bar where she was forced to engage in commercial sex. She was 17 at the time, according to the charges. Officials said the other victims who have been identified appeared to be adults.
If convicted, the four of them could each face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.
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