HOUSTON (KHOU/CNN) - Federal authorities led dozens of people away in handcuffs from two cantinas in southeast Houston, marking the end of a two-and-a-half-year long investigation.
They learned over the years from one another, then they evolved like any other criminal organization.
Investigators say the businesses serves as bars and brothels where the accused ran a multi-million dollar prostitution ring.
Of the victims rescued, five were minors. All were from Mexico. Investigators say patrons were charged anywhere from $65 for 15 minutes to $500/hour, based on their looks and age.
Authorities say the raid sheds light on the fact that Houston is ranked one of the highest in the nation for human trafficking. Some started this horrific way of life, this forced way of life by the promise of love, the promise of luxury, the promise of a better life.
Charges are pending for 14 people in connection to the bust, but authorities say Alfonso Diaz-Juarez, also known as Pancho, is still on the run. He is a 45-year-old Mexican citizen, 5 feet 2 inches tall and may still be in the Houston area.
While authorities are calling the raid a success, it is only a small victory. There are still many other places where the same type of activity is going on, and many more victims are out there.
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