Attorney General Hector Balderas
From the office of the Attorney General:
ALBUQUERQUE — Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Friday that Mario Morales was sentenced to seven years in the Department of Corrections, the maximum amount of time allowed under a plea in which Morales plead to the trafficking of a woman in Albuquerque.
The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Alisa Hart in the Second Judicial District.
“Trafficking another human being is one of the most heinous crimes we face, and I am glad that we were able to provide justice for the survivor in this case,” Balderas said. “Public officials and legislative leaders must acknowledge that this is a form of modern day slavery that happens everyday, in plain sight in our communities and we must do all we can to stop this horrific crime.”
The Defendant plead no contest Nov. 25, 2019 to two counts of Human Trafficking, two counts of False Imprisonment, and one count of Exploitation. Morales repeatedly assaulted and sexually exploited the survivor in this case from October 2015 through January 2017 in exchange for drugs and money.
This case was investigated by special agents from the Office of the Attorney General and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Caitlin L. Dillon. The Office of the Attorney General is also working during the 2020 legislative session to strengthen New Mexico’s human trafficking laws, which would have an immediate impact on holding offenders accountable in cases such as this.