U.S. District Attorney Chad E. Meacham announced on May 27 that two men were charged with allegedly trafficking teenage girls.
Ulises Rene Garcia, 22, and LaDarius Alton Smith, 33, were indicted on May 24 on two counts of sex trafficking a child, according to the announcement.
The case against the two men began when the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contacted the North Texas Trafficking Task Force about a 16-year-old runaway they spotted on a popular commercial sex database.
An undercover agent then contacted the individual who posted the ad and set up a meeting at a Dallas hotel on April 12.
The undercover agent met a different 17-year-old girl at the hotel. She reportedly told the agent that she had locked herself out of the room. While talking to the girl, the undercover agent allegedly observed Garcia arrive and provide her with a key to the room.
The undercover agent spoke with Smith on the phone, who allegedly told the agent he was bringing the 16-year-old girl to the hotel soon.
Surveillance cameras then reportedly captured Smith driving into the hotel parking lot in a dark blue BMW with the 16-year-old and a third girl. Smith then escorted the two girls into the room.
Agents recovered all three girls and transported them to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center for comprehensive treatment.
Upon searching the hotel room, they found a backpack containing the 16-year-old’s high school schedule.
Agents detained both suspects. If convicted, they face up to life in prison.
Federal authorities urge anyone who may have information about victims of trafficking to call local law enforcement or the confidential National Human Trafficking Hotline, staffed 24/7, at 1-888-373-7888.