This article is over 3 years old


Police Rescue 18 People Held For Ransom In Northwest Houston

HPD investigators have arrested five men. Chief Art Acevedo says two women were sexually assaulted while they were held captive.


Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo (center) briefs local media about an investigation that resulted in the rescue of 18 people who had been smuggled to Houston and were being held for ransom.

Houston Police have rescued 18 people, two females and sixteen males, who say they were smuggled to Houston and were being held for ransom. Several HPD divisions, including vice, homicide and narcotics, led the investigation with the help of agents from Homeland Security Investigations. Five men have been arrested and are facing multiple charges.

The investigation started on June 5 when a family contacted HPD to report a relative was being held in Houston for ransom.

Detectives located the suspects and began a rescue operation and investigation. That initial phase of the investigation resulted in the rescue of two individuals. Subsequently, investigators discovered a safe house at 10427 Rockcrest Road, in northwest Houston, where they rescued 16 additional victims. All of the victims are from several Latin American countries, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

"Our investigation determined that women were held captive and sexually assaulted for 25 days," Acevedo said.

The suspects are identified as Jose Silvestre Chavarrieta-Gusman, 18; Fredy Moreno-Gil, 26; Gabriel Salazar-Bautista, 35; Jose Manuel Aviles-Diaz, 26; and Moris Gudiel Campos-Gomez, 39. All of them are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity by kidnapping in the 184th State District Court.

Additional sexual assault charges were filed on Campos-Gomez, Aviles-Diaz and Chavarrieta-Gusman in the same court. Federal charges are possible as the investigation continues, according to HPD.

During the investigation, detectives recovered four guns, more than $10,000 and 19 grams of cocaine.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.