HOUSTON – Houston police announced the arrest of five men who are believed to have been involved in a human trafficking and smuggling operation.
Police Chief Art Acevedo said the five men are accused of holding 18 people, including two women and 16 males, hostage in a home in the 10400 block of Rockcrest Road in northwest Houston. He said the women were assaulted over a period of 25 days.
“This all started with a family reaching out to us about a person being held against their will,” Acevedo said.
Some of the victims were enslaved for labor and, in some cases, for sex, Acevedo said.
He said the investigation kicked off on June 5, when a family member of one of the victims called the Houston Police Department and said that their relative was being held hostage for ransom. From there, detectives were able to pinpoint multiple locations where victims were being held.
The Police Department said that it hopes that that other victims' families will contact the department and that it has called upon Houstonians to be aware.
Of the five suspects, three are charged with sexual assault, Acevedo said.
Investigators stressed to residents that, if you see strange activity in your neighborhood, you should report it to your law enforcement agency.
The five arrested are:
- Moris Gudiel Campos-Gomez, 39
- Jose Manuel Aviles-Diaz, 26
- Jose Silverstre Chavarrieta-Gusman, 18
- Gabriel Salazar-Bautista, 35
- Fredy Moreno-Gil, 26