HOUSTON - It's called one of the worst cases of human trafficking in Texas and it happened right here in Houston but one of the ring leaders is still on the loose. There is a $50,000 reward if you know where to find accused sex trafficking suspect Alfonso Angel Diaz-Juarez. This comes as a high profile "businessman" who's accused of human trafficking appears in court. The CEO of Backpage.com Carl Ferrer was led into a Harris County courtroom after he was arrested Thursday on a flight from Amsterdam.
“The plane just landed in Houston and he was arrested when he landed,” says Ferrer’s Attorney Phillip Hilder. Ferrer is a fugitive from California. His online company is accused of being a hub for predators purchasing sex slaves. “Backpage.com seems to have knowingly and willingly allowed women and children to be exploited in return for its own financial gain. I intend to provide every resource available to make sure this company and the individuals who operate it can never again do business in the state of Texas,” explains Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“Mr. Ferrer looks forward to vigorously fighting these charges that we believe are trumped up,” says Defense Attorney Hilder. Ferrer has waived extradition back to California.
”If you are a victim of human trafficking please speak up. There is help for you,” explains Houston FBI Public Affairs Specialist Christina Garza. With one accused sex trafficking suspect captured, Garza is reminding you of another, Alfonso Angel Diaz-Juarez. “He's wanted for his role in one of the largest human trafficking operations the FBI has investigated here in Texas,” adds Garza.
Diaz-juarez was the alleged pimp at a sex slave ring run out of an east Houston cantina on Telephone Road where the women were tortured and forced to live in filth for nearly two decades. ”Some of these women were brought into this trafficking ring when they were young girls and they spent years as slaves in this cantina,” explains Garza. 13 others have already been arrested and sentenced for their role in the ring. The owner of the cantina 68 year old Hortencia Medeles Arguello received a life sentence earlier this year but Diaz-Juarez remains on the run. There is a $50,000 reward if you know where to find him.
”The longer he is out there the more victims he might have under his power,” says Garza.
Alfonso Angel Diaz-Juarez is also known as Poncho or El Grenas. He's believed to have ties to Florida, Texas and Mexico, specifically a town near Puebla called Huejotzingo. If you have information about where to locate Diaz-Juarez you’re asked to call the FBI at (713) 693-5000.