AG Balderas Announces Sentencing of Albuquerque Man who Plead Guilty to Human Trafficking

For Immediate Release:
January 24, 2020
Contact: Matt Baca — (505) 270-7148

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 every day, 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
Imprisonment, 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 strengthen New Mexico’s
human trafficking laws, which would have an immediate impact on holding offenders
accountable in cases such as this.