Albuquerque, New Mexico– A new FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force welcomed six Bernalillo County law enforcement officers to its ranks after they were deputized. The officers are authorized to help investigate federal crimes for the multi-agency task force, which was created in April.
James Stewart, 39 of Albuquerque, N.M. has been charged with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13, a fourth-degree felony that carries a maximum of 24 years in prison, according to the indictment filed in District Court. Stewart and his wife, Terri Sanchez were originally arrested on human trafficking charges in spring 2018.
Adonis Baker, 35, Inkosi Gandberry, 38, and Leotha Williams, 58, have all been charged with sex trafficking in and around New Mexico. Their female victims were beat up and injected with heroin to ensure their cooperation.
KOB 4 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, discovered a website that allows people to leave reviews of people they met who offer sex acts. Posts detail what the sex worker looks like, what they will do and how much it will cost. KOB 4 called a person who listed their number on the website. She offered her services and rates, which she described as a donation.
ccording to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “human trafficking” is the second largest criminal industry in the world (just behind drug trafficking) and continues to be the fastest growing. More than 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, roughly half of whom are children.
Silvia Cabeza de Baca, 36, and Efren Morales, 35, both of Las Cruces, New Mexico, were indicted on one count each of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of methamphetamine and endangering a child, five counts of trafficking of a person and five counts of smuggling of persons.
A woman who says she was sold for sex as a teenager is suing an Albuquerque motel and the now-closed Backpage website, alleging both businesses had a hand in allowing her to be trafficked. “The evidence is pretty strong (for) that hotel knowing what was going on due to the frequency of the visitors to the room,” McAdams said
When it comes to child well-being in New Mexico, the numbers back it up—and they show young New Mexicans are susceptible to becoming victims of sex trafficking. But there is a team that travels around the state, looking for those victims, rescuing them and holding their captors criminally responsible.