Two men have been arrested in connection with trafficking a 19-year-old New Mexico woman, federal officials said.
Alfonso Orozco Juarez, 35, and Robert Hubert, 66, have been charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced Thursday.
Authorities said the victim met Juarez last year on a dating app. The two then met in person in September 2019 at a Dallas motel.
Once they were inside the motel room, investigators said Juarez gave the victim a slave name and pistol-whipped her. The victim suffered bruising to her hand and jaw afterward, federal officials said.
During that encounter, authorities said Juarez threatened to kill the woman and her family if she didn't consent to be sold for sex. At that point, he pointed an unloaded gun at her head and pulled the trigger.
"This victim endured horrific abuse at the hands of these defendants," Cox said in a news release.
The victim was sold repeatedly for sex. Investigators said Juarez offered to sell her as a slave to the highest bidder on a website.
According to federal officials, Hubert, who went by the screen name, "The Darkest Lord," offered to pay $5,000 for the victim.
Authorities were able to obtain text messages between Hubert and Juarez
In those messages detectives said, Juarez, described the woman as being fully dependent on him and fully submitting to him after being pistol-whipped.
Juarez allegedly referred to her as "the property."
Hubert responded with, "Sweet, I will take the slave," officials said.
According to court documents, the two men agreed to meet at a gas station in Dallas, so that Hubert could drive the victim to his house in South Carolina.
At some point, Hubert clamped a metal collar on the woman's neck, and threatened to brand her, federal officials said.
Authorities said while in Hubert's car, the victim texted Juarez asking for help.
"I’m afraid if I don’t do something, he’s going to hurt me," she said.
Juarez responded to the woman, "Endure what you have to. He’ll punish you, whip you but not kill you."
Authorities said when the victim arrived at Hurbert's house, he forced her to be naked at all times. There was also a room in the house that Hubert described as "a dungeon."
According to federal officials, the victim convinced Hubert to let her call her parents. During the phone call, the woman's father begged Hubert to let his daughter go.
Hubert allegedly responded by telling the man he had purchased the victim for $5,000 and demanded the same amount back for her safe return.
Federal officials said he then sent the victim’s father a contract signed by Hubert and Juarez as "proof of the sale."
However, authorities said eventually "Hubert relented" and the victim was able to escape by bus.
Juarez was arrested at his home in Dallas and appeared in court Wednesday. Hubert was arrested at his home in South Carolina and appeared in court last week.
If the two men are convicted, they face up to life in federal prison.
"These despicable people who enrich themselves by exploiting the innocent have no place amongst law-abiding citizens and HSI will always combat it with every resource at our disposal," said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Dallas.