Ruben Perez - Special Crimes Bureau Chief

Career prosecutor Ruben Perez returned to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office after retiring from the Department of Justice, where he was an assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Human Trafficking/Civil Rights Unit.

During his tenure with that agency, he was also assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, where he prosecuted narcotics-related organized crime and money-laundering cases. Ruben served as deputy coordinator for the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance of the Southern District of Texas.

Ruben received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1974 from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. He studied international law at the London School of Economics in London, England, in 1978. He graduated from Houston’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar in 1980. His career began that year with the city of Houston, where he served as an assistant city attorney.

In 1981, he joined the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and spent 11 years handling felonies, including multiple death-penalty cases. Ruben joined the Department of Justice in 1992.

Among the cases Ruben has successfully investigated and tried were those of five defendants who burned a cross at the home of a family in Katy. He also prosecuted three Immigration and Naturalization Services deportation officers for depriving an undocumented immigrant of his civil rights during a raid in Bryan. All three were convicted of denying medical care to the man, who was paralyzed and died a year later of his injuries.

Additionally, he led the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted in the continental United States: More than 100 victims were rescued in one night.

Ruben received three Executive Office for United States Attorneys Director’s Awards, and has earned recognition as among distinguished alumni of Southwest Texas State.

He has served as an instructor for the Department of Justice Criminal Trial Advocacy Program and often speaks at law enforcement seminars, area schools, and universities. He has taught Advocacy and Human Trafficking classes both in the United States and internationally in Mexico City, Tapachula, and Guadalajara, Mexico; Kyrgyzstan; Santiago, Chile; Paraguay; Puerto Rico; and San Salvador, El Salvador. Ruben also frequently lectures on Civil Rights issues in many forums.

He is also a saxophone player and a member of the Tejano Music Hall of Fame.