ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced 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 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,” said Attorney General Balderas. “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 to two counts of Human Trafficking, two counts of False Imprionsment, and one count of Exploitation on November 25, 2019. 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 strenghten New Mexico’s human trafficking laws, which would have an immediate impact on holding offenders accoutnable in cases such as this.