'El Gallo,' Head of Mexican Underage Sex Trafficking Ring, Sentenced to Serve 40 Years for Harboring

El Gallo: U.S. Court Sentences Sex Trafficker To 40 Years in Prison

03/01/2016 AT 03:50 PM EST

This week in a Houston courtroom, the head of a Mexico-based sex trafficking ring was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison – four months after his alleged admission to FBI agents he'd smuggled dozens of underage girls into the U.S. to work as prostitutes.

A statement obtained by PEOPLE confirms that on Monday, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore sentenced Gerardo Salazar, a 51-year-old Mexican national better known by his moniker "El Gallo," which means "The Rooster."

In October, Salazar pleaded guilty to four counts of harboring illegal aliens for the purpose of prostitution. He was first indicted on the criminal charges in 2005, but he eluded law enforcement for five years before being captured.

Salazar was extradited to America in 2014, according to federal officials.

The FBI's statement contends that Salazar used "deception, threats of harm, physical force and psychological coercion" to compel the girls to work "as prostitutes in Houston area bars."

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At Monday's sentencing hearing, Gilmore found Salazar "to be unremorseful" about luring girls – some under the age of 16 – into the United States and beating them into submission.

Salazar threatened the families of defiant girls, Gilmore ruled, and even forced some of them to get abortions, the statement says.

Gallo was captured in his native Mexico City five years after he and several of his associates – including Salvador Fernando Molina Garcia, Angel Moreno Salazar, Jose Luis Moreno Salazar, Juan Carlos Salazar and Ivan Salazar – were indicted by U.S. officials.

In 2006, Salazar's co-defendants admitted to being part of an organization that operated between early 2004 through the summer of 2005.

The group allegedly recruited, harbored, and transported the Mexican girls into Texas to work in the sex trade. All of the men admitted to benefiting financially from the exploitation of their victims, the statement says.
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