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2 arrested for human trafficking in Richland Hills, police say

Police said the victims – 17, 18, and 19-year-old Guatemalans – were taken to a local victim advocacy center for further assistance and services.
Credit: JUN2 / Thinkstock

RICHLAND HILLS, Texas — Two men face multiple charges after being arrested for human trafficking in Richland Hills, officials say.

Around 12:40 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, a Richland Hills police officer conducted a traffic stop for a minor traffic violation in the 3400 block of Booth Calloway Road. The officer said the vehicle was occupied by a driver and four passengers, none of which had ID or spoke English, the department said.

The officer said he was concerned for the three rear passengers’ welfare due to their “unusual nervousness during the encounter.”

When a Spanish-speaking Richland Hills police officer arrived on scene, the rear passengers – who appeared to be all young adult males – were determined to be victims of labor human trafficking, the department said.

Richland Hills police said both the driver, identified as 34-year-old Jorge Martinez Jimenez, and the front passenger, identified as 45-year-old Jose Leonel Flores, were arrested and booked into the North Richland Hills Joint Detention Center. They were later transferred to the Tarrant County Detention Center, police said.

Jimenez and Flores face multiple charges, including trafficking of persons under 18 prostitution/forced labor – a first-degree felony.

Credit: Richland Hills Police Department
Credit: Richland Hills Police Department

Police said the victims – 17, 18, and 19-year-old Guatemalans – were taken to a local victim advocacy center for further assistance and services.

This is an ongoing investigation.

If you are a victim or you know someone who may be a victim of human trafficking, contact 1-888-373-7888, text 233733 or visit humantraffickinghotline.org. If you would like to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County at 817-469-8477.