Houston bounty hunter and girlfriend indicted for sex trafficking, VISA fraud
HOUSTON – Bounty Hunter Luis De Jesus Rodriguez also known as the Htown Hunter and his girlfriend Helen Leon Mesa were indicted by a grand jury Sunday on allegations of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and visa fraud.
According to court documents, Rodriguez, 26, and Mesa, 28, allegedly recruited and exploited young women from Colombia and trafficked them into the United States. The women were promised of a better life by working for Rodriguez and Mesa as dancers at a Houston nightclub.
Once they arrived in the U.S. the women were forced to watch recruitment YouTube videos of Rodriguez depicted as a bounty hunter to make them believe that he was a law enforcement officer.
The documents also allege that Rodriguez and Mesa made the women work at a strip club in Houston and forced them to engage in sex acts. The women were made to sign debt bondage contracts, ranging from $13,200 to $25,000 and were kept under constant monitoring and surveillance. Daily payments of $250 went towards the debt and if they refused to pay their lives and the lives of their families were threatened.
Rodriguez and Mesa are also accused of creating fake backgrounds and occupations to get Visas approved for the women, who were then coached on what to say during their Visa interviews.
If convicted of sex trafficking, Rodriguez and Mesa face a minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison. The visa fraud charges carry a maximum of 10 years of federal imprisonment.