Officials Seek Kidnapper Associated With Sex Trafficking Ring
HOUSTON (CBS Houston) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man wanted for questioning in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman from Panama City Beach, Florida.
“The woman was the victim of a multi-state human trafficking and sex-trafficking ring that operated from Mexico and into the United States,” stated officials with the FBI. “The trafficking ring has ties to Texas, and investigators are releasing the attached sketch in the hopes of generating tips that will lead to his identity and arrest.”
FBI authorities add that on August 12, 2013, 30 year-old Jacobo Feliciano-Francisco, (who is also known as “Uriel Castillo-Ochoa” as well as “Kiko,”) was arrested after a Federal Grand Jury in the Northern District of Florida sent down a five-count indictment.
Feliciano-Francisco was charged with federal criminal violations related to kidnapping, retaliating against a witness and transporting an individual in interstate commerce for prostitution. While Feliciano-Francisco is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in the Northern District of Florida, the FBI released a sketch of a man believed to be a co-conspirator with Feliciano-Francisco.
“The indictment alleges that between 2006 and 2011, numerous organized individuals created a network of brothels and prostitution delivery services in Tennessee and Kentucky, using undocumented aliens from Spanish-speaking countries,” added the FBI. “One adult female victim who was forced and coerced into working as a prostitute for approximately three years, was subsequently kidnapped with the intent to transport her from Florida to Louisiana with plans to put her to work as a prostitute.”
During her kidnapping, the woman endured numerous sexual assaults by Feliciano-Francisco, and he and other suspects repeatedly threatened the physical safety of both her and her family. “The woman was then transported to a residence in Mississippi where she was confined until another conspirator arrived to pick her up and transport her to Louisiana,” added FBI officials. “The victim was able to escape her captors when the transport van broke down. She was later recovered by officers of the Hattiesburg Police Department in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.”
Officials report that the investigation is ongoing and fluid as they seek the public’s help in locating the co-conspirator. “He was described as a Hispanic male with a medium complexion, approximately 5’3” – 5’4” tall with a medium build,” stated officials. “He only spoke in Spanish with what was described as an “island accent” during the alleged crimes.”
Anyone with information about this suspect is being strongly urged to call the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office at 904-248-7000.