Four Houston-area gang members are in custody for allegedly trafficking young girls who had run away from home, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The defendants recruited underage teenage girls and forced them to engage in sex acts for money in cars and hotels around the “Blade” or the Bissonnet Track, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division said in a statement. The area is a common trafficking site near Southwest 59 Freeway and Bissonnet Street in Houston.
The four men were identified as Clarence Chambers, aka Chris, 29; Javon Opoku, aka Glizzy, 20; Damarquis McGee, aka Lil Blue, 23; and Andres Portillo, aka Andro, 20.
“Some of the defendants also allegedly required daily quotas each night from their victims,” the ICE release states. “If the victims failed to meet their daily quotas, they were severely punished through beatings and humiliation, according to the indictment.”
According to the charges, the men also kept the proceeds.
The indictment further alleges if any of the girls wanted to switch between pimps, they would have to pay an exit fee or get “beat out” to do so, according to ICE.
If convicted, the men face up to life sentences in federal prison.
ICE officials confirmed to The Epoch Times that the men are all U.S. citizens. The U.S. Attorney’s Office didn’t confirm to The Epoch Times which gang the men belong to.
The investigation was conducted by HSI, the Houston Police Department, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, as part of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA).
In fiscal year 2020, HSI rescued or identified 1,012 child exploitation victims.