HSI Tucson seeks help identifying potential victims of 2 locked up alleged sex traffickers
TUCSON, Ariz. — Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying additional sex trafficking victims who have been forced to work with two recently arrested alleged perpetrators.
A 14-year old child has been identified and rescued in Tucson; HSI special agents suspect there are more victims.
Maurice Fitzgerald Alexander, 31, arrested in Tucson, and Erica Lucia Navarro, 31, arrested in El Paso, Texas, were simultaneously arrested Oct. 21. Both defendants were initialed in federal court where they both face sex trafficking charges. Neither defendant has been awarded bond.
The investigation on Alexander and Navarro began in early October when HSI Tucson special agents responded to a juvenile victim who reported she had been trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Through investigative techniques, special agents discovered the minor victim had been exploited for the purposes of sexual exploitation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas between August and October. The minor was 14 years old when her sex trafficking incident began.
According to court documents, the victim reported she was recruited on social media. HSI special agents continue to identify and investigate the scope of these alleged sex traffickers and strongly suspect there are additional victims associated with Alexander and Navarro.
Like all defendants, those accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Prosecutions are being handled by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.
HSI also encourages the public to report suspected sex trafficking or any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE, or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial (802) 872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY (802) 872-6196.
HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child sex trafficking investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), ICAC partners, and other federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited and trafficked children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC’s toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.