ST. PAUL, Minn. – Maria Candelaria Zambrano Zavala, 27, and Humberto Rangel-Torres, 51, were sentenced to 144 months and 72 months in prison, respectively, for sex trafficking a minor out of a Bloomington hotel.
According to court documents, beginning in March 2019 through May 2019, Zambrano Zavala began transporting and providing a minor for commercial sex to Rangel-Torres, who was at the time a construction worker residing at a hotel in Bloomington. On multiple occasions, Rangel-Torres arranged for commercial sex acts through Zambrano Zavala and paid Zambrano Zavala or the minor in cash for each commercial sex act.
“These defendants knowingly engaged in the sexual exploitation of a child for their own selfish gains,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Anders Folk. “Criminals who victimize and abuse children in this way will be investigated, prosecuted, and imprisoned.”
In April 2021, Zambrano Zavala pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor, and Rangel-Torres pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. In addition to the prison time, U.S. District Judge Eric C. Tostrud also sentenced Zambrano Zavala to 10 years of supervised release and Rangel-Torres to five years of supervised release.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was the result of an investigation conducted by HSI and the Bloomington Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Manda M. Sertich and Evan B. Gilead prosecuted the case.