ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Eddie Sanchez, (43), of Loving, New Mexico, made an initial appearance in federal court on Aug. 10 on charges of kidnapping, transporting an illegal alien, and harboring an illegal alien. Sanchez will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Aug. 13.
According to a criminal complaint, around December of 2019, Sanchez allegedly began communicating with a victim by telephone and Facebook, and the two began a long-distance relationship. After several months, Sanchez allegedly informed the victim that he had arranged for her to be smuggled into the United States illegally.
On or about Jan. 4, the victim and about 12 other aliens were smuggled illegally into the United States near Presidio, Texas. Sanchez allegedly met the group and guided them through the desert to waiting vehicles. The aliens were transported to Odessa, Texas, and later to Andrews, Texas.
Sanchez then allegedly transported the victim to his home in Loving, where the two briefly continued their relationship. When the victim attempted to end the relationship and return to Mexico, Sanchez allegedly refused to allow the victim to leave the house. Sanchez allegedly took possession of the victim’s travel documents, including her passport and Mexican electoral identification card and allowed the victim only limited, monitored use of a cell phone. Sanchez allegedly provided the victim with little food and water and bound the victim’s hands and feet when he was away at work. Sanchez allegedly threatened the victim with death if she attempted to leave him. On or about July 21, the victim was able to escape from Sanchez’s home and call for help.
A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Sanchez faces up to life in prison
Homeland Security Investigations, FBI Task Force officers and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case with assistance from the Hobbs (New Mexico) Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Ramirez, Rachel Feuerhammer and Luis Martinez are prosecuting the case.
# # #
Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.