COMAL COUNTY -- They're accused of selling an undocumented immigrant for sex, now police have them behind bars.
36-year-old Julio Jimenez-Ramirez and 31-year-old Gloria Romero Perez face human trafficking charges, a first degree felony, after authorities say the two created a contract to sell a teenaged girl.
KENS 5 spoke with the lead detective in the case.
"We don't really have a whole lot of human trafficking cases that come through here that we're made aware of," said Detective Anthony Moreno of the Comal County Sheriff's Office.
On April 1, deputies went to Ramirez' ranch in Fischer, just northwest of New Braunfels. Perez told deputies that her 15-year-old niece ran away and was probably there.
"When our deputies made contact, at that point, she told them, 'Wait, I'm not a runaway. My aunt sold me to him,'" Detective Moreno recalled.
The teen was at the ranch. Investigators discovered Gloria Perez made up the runaway story because she was mad about not getting paid.
Investigators say Perez spent $6,000 to bring her niece to the U.S. illegally from Honduras in 2014. Moreno said that the teen was smuggled in through Baja California and eventually ended up here in Texas.
At the ranch, the teen showed deputies some receipts and a written contract between Ramirez and Perez.
"...saying he was going to pay monthly installments for this child until the $6,000 was paid up," Detective Moreno noted.
Investigators found out that Ramirez got the girl pregnant. Now, she and her 2-month-old baby are in CPS care.
"Some people would find it hard to believe, me being one of those, that someone would do this to their own family member," Detective Moreno said.
Ramirez and Perez are being held inside the Comal County Jail on a $500,000 bond and an immigration hold. All involved in this case are not U.S. citizens.
In a statement, Nina Pruneda, a public affairs officer from the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), wrote:
“On Aug. 4, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged a detainer on Julio Jimenez Ramirez, 35, and Gloria Romero Perez, 31, were arrested by Comal County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office pending state charges. Since this is ongoing investigation, no further details of the case can be released at this time. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminal aliens, recent border crossers and immigration fugitives who have failed to comply with final orders of removal issued by the nation’s immigration courts.”
The case will be presented to the district attorney in the near future. Ramirez and Perez have not been formally indicted.