HOUSTON (April 10, 2012)--A federal judge has sentenced a man and a woman who prosecutors say smuggled Mexican women into the country to prostitute themselves at Houston-area bars and restaurants to prison.
A statement from the U.S. attorney's office says Jose Luis and Maria Rojas were both sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty in November to conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Prosecutors said Mexican women and girls were lured to the United States with the promise of legitimate jobs in Houston's bars and restaurants, but instead were forced into prostitution.
Eight others have also pleaded guilty to charges relating to the operation.
Six were sentenced to eight to 11 months in prison, while two others await sentencing.