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Federal authorities arrested two men accused of buying and selling a 19-year-old Santa Fe woman as a sex slave last year, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Alfonso Juarez, 35, of Texas and Robert Hubert, 66, of South Carolina were charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, the office said in a news release. Juarez was arrested at his home in Dallas and Hubert was arrested at his home in Roebuck, South Carolina.
If convicted, they could both face up to life in federal prison.
“This victim endured horrific abuse at the hands of these defendants. It’s unthinkable and, frankly, difficult to learn that this type of thing is happening in our District,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a statement. “… The Northern District of Texas and its partners in the District of New Mexico are committed to ending the scourge of human trafficking, one brutal case at a time.”
It began when Juarez contacted the woman on a dating app and the two met in September 2019 at a Dallas motel, according to the release. Juarez pistol-whipped the woman, gave her a slave name and threatened to kill her and her family if she didn’t agree to be sold for sex, authorities say.
The news release says Juarez repeatedly sold the woman for sex and advertised her as a “slave” online to the highest bidder. Hubert, who went by the screen name The Darkest Lord, offered $5,000.
In text messages with Hubert, Juarez called the woman “the property” and “bragged that she ‘submitted fully’ ” after he pistol whipped her, according to the release. Juarez told Hubert that “she’s totally dependent on me” and Hubert responded: “SWEET” and “I will take the slave.”
The release says that the men met at a Dallas gas station and that Hubert took the woman to his home in South Carolina. Once there, he clamped a metal collar on her neck and threatened to brand her.
The woman texted Juarez, saying, “I’m afraid if I don’t do something, he’s going to hurt me,” and he replied, “Endure what you have to … He’ll punish you whip you … but not kill you,” according to the release.
The release says Hubert had “a dungeon” in his home.
She finally persuaded him to call her parents, and the woman’s father begged Hubert to let the woman go. Hubert demanded $5,000 for her return and sent the father “a contract” signed by both Juarez and Hubert as “proof of sale,” according to the release. Eventually, Hubert let the woman go and she escaped by bus.
“Anyone that is involved in human trafficking activities – either as a member of a transnational criminal organization, a business owner exploiting his/her employees, or a street level pimp – should be viewed as a vicious predator,” Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Dallas, said in a statement. “These despicable people who enrich themselves by exploiting the innocent have no place amongst law-abiding citizens and HSI will always combat it with every resource at our disposal.”