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FBI sends message to those harboring illegals

From the Federal Bureau of Investigation

HOUSTON— Gregoria Vasquez-Salgado and her son, David Salazar, have entered pleas of guilty to harboring an illegal alien, United States Attorney Tim Johnson and acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Loretta King announced today. Vasquez, 59, is a Mexican citizen, while Salazar, 28, is a United States citizen. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake also entered a preliminary order of forfeiture of Vasquez’ house located at 1320 Jennifer Lane in Houston.

On March 7, 2008, Jacinto City police officers were dispatched to the Jennifer Lane residence and made contact with a female Mexican national and Vasquez-Salgado, who claimed the female was her son’s girlfriend. Vasquez-Salgado also stated she permitted the female and her son to live with her at her residence and that she knew the female was not legal—that she had been brought illegally from Mexico to the United States.

Officers then took the female to the Jacinto City police station, at which time she stated she lived at the Jennifer Lane residence with both Vasquez and Salazar for about two and a half months. While the female was at the station, Salazar arrived and was also interviewed by Jacinto City Police officers. During the interview, Salazar admitted he knew she did not have “any papers,” meaning he knew she was illegally in the United States.

On May 7, 2009, Vasquez-Salgado and Salazar were indicted by a federal grand jury for harboring an illegal alien. At that time, Vasquez was already in federal custody—charged with entering the United States illegally. On May 8, 2009, Vasquez-Salgado was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Agents arrested her son at the courthouse after he arrived to attend his mother’s court hearing.

Vasquez remains in custody pending her sentencing and Salazar remains on bond after pleading guilty today. Both are expected to be sentenced on Oct. 16, 2009.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI with the assistance of the Jacinto City Police Department—all members of the Houston Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA). The HTRA was founded in August 2004 to bring together the expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement to target those engaged in human trafficking and through non-governmental service providers to provide support and services for their victims.

Assistant United States Attorneys Ruben Perez, Joseph Magliolo and Daniel Menes and Civil Rights Division attorney Kayla Bakshi prosecuted this case for the government.

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