OKLAHOMA CITY – A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted two Oklahoma City men on child sex trafficking charges, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing, Western District of Oklahoma.
These charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI and Oklahoma City Police Department.
According to separate indictments returned by a federal grand jury Dec. 4, each defendant obtained, solicited and patronized two minor victims after having had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that each minor would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.
The indictment against Rolando Cifuentes-Lopez, 36, states he engaged in this conduct from November 2016 to Jan. 18, 2019. The indictment against Eri Cifuentes-Lopez, 40, states he engaged in this conduct from January 2018 to Jan. 18, 2019. Eri Cifuentes-Lopez is also charged with illegally re-entering the United States. He was removed (deported) from the country Nov. 2, 2005, and was found in the United States on Nov. 20, 2019, without the consent of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security.
According to court documents, FBI and Oklahoma City Police Department investigators determined that Rolando Cifuentes-Lopez owned the trailer where the two minor victims lived and he threatened to evict their family if they did not comply with requests for sex. He allegedly had sex on multiple occasions with each of the minors, who were as young as 14, in exchange for cash or reduced rent. Eri Cifuentes-Lopez also allegedly had sex with each of the minors for cash.
Both men were arrested by HSI special agents after traffic stops Nov. 20, 2019. They have been in federal custody since that time.
If found guilty of child sex trafficking, each defendant faces a mandatory punishment of at least 10 years and up to life in federal prison. If sentenced to less than life, they would be required to comply with terms of supervised release for at least five years and up to life, and they must register as sex offenders. Eri Cifuentes-Lopez also faces up to 20 years in prison for illegally re-entering the United States. Each defendant could also be fined up to $250,000 on each count and be ordered to pay restitution to trafficking victims.
Two other defendants in this investigation have entered guilty pleas to child sex trafficking. On Aug. 28, 2019, Wilson Leonel Gramajo-Maldonado, 29, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty to a superseding information that charged him with obtaining the two minor victims for commercial sex acts between June 2018 and Jan. 18, 2019. On Sept. 5, 2019, Natalie Dawn Halbert also pleaded guilty to two counts of child sex trafficking, one for each of the minors. She admitted before U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin that she maintained the minors between November 2018 and Jan. 18, 2019; she provided them with condoms, and caused them to engage in commercial sex acts. Both of these other defendants face a mandatory punishment of at least 10 years and up to life in prison. Both are in U.S. Marshals Service custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys K. McKenzie Anderson and Mary E. Walters, Western District of Oklahoma, are prosecuting this case.
The public is reminded that the charges against Rolando Cifuentes-Lopez and Eri Cifuentes-Lopez are merely allegations and that they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Reference is made to public filings for more information.