With Covid-19 going on, human trafficking isn’t stopping in Jacksonville, Florida. A news team in Jacksonville spoke with a woman who is currently living in a hotel and said she is working to keep food on the table and a roof over her head. The woman said she’s worried about running into serial killers and rapists. Advocates for sex-trafficking victims contend that there’s a growing demand for the sex trade despite the risks posed by coronavirus.
A new study in Milwaukee shows most of the city and identified hot spots where the crime occurred. From 2013 through 2016 the study examined 340 people ages 25 and younger were confirmed to have been victims of sex trafficking in Milwaukee. 88% of the victims were from the Milwaukee area and 3% were out of state. Although the research was from six years ago, experts believe the information still hold up to be true. Some of the areas are hot spots for other crimes as well.
In 2018, Polaris reported the highest number of sex trafficking survivors in the United States was 243, their ages ranged from 15-17 years of age. In 2018 the numbers reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline illustrated that 7,126 women were trafficked and 2,378 minors were trafficked.
Jasmine’s story is featured in this article. Jasmine Grace was 19 when she met an older man. After graduating from cosmetology school, the trafficker sold Jasmine to men around the East Coast for five years.
Three men are facing a series of human trafficking charges, rape charges in the state of New York. The three men lured a 12 year old to a motel for sex. Detectives say the men used social media to recruit the child. All three have been arrested and are being held without bail at the Onondaga County Justice Center. They found the child in the motel room alone.
In Salt Lake City Utah, two Utah men and a woman who was convicted of murder previously, now face charges forcing two teenage girls into human trafficking. The three traffickers face multiple felony counts for human trafficking of a child. One of the men also face a charge of unlawful sexual contact. One of the victims met the men after she walked away from juvenile services custody.
Brook Parker-Bello Ph.D, founder of More Too Life Foundation, recognizes that the country’s forgotten victims are at risk of being lost forever as the world fights to contain the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Lost In Crisis is the first program of its kind to introduce a comprehensive strategy using up-to-date analysis of the growing COVID-19 crisis, while offering a practical solution that could save hundreds and thousands of lives. Please contact Dr. Parker – Bello for a 60-day free access to our online human trafficking prevention program for victims and also basic cost for buyers course. In addition, to MoreTooLife’s digital online college student prevention course.
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As Tampa bay, Florida practices social distance due to the virus and staying home to do the orders local nonprofits are concerned about who they can help. Now they are moving things online to help the victims of human trafficking that they can no longer meet in person. With all the students being online now at least until May, training is being enforced for adults to look for red flags to look for in social media. 70% of sex trafficking in minors starts online.
In Portsmouth, Ohio a former city council member and defense attorney has been detained. He is rumored to be a key player in a sex trafficking ring. Police have been looking into him since 2018. The prosecution is now being held by the state attorneys office. ￼
In Anderson, California law enforcement officers have been in a year-long investigation into Northstate massage parlors. Two men have been arrested with 58 felony counts. Last year, a citizen of Anderson reported unusual behavior. The tip led to find a human trafficking ring across three Northstate counties. Anderson police said their goal was to target the traffickers and save and rescue the woman.
A las Vegas man was arrested on sex assault after police say he solicited a child for sex
on a dating app. The 44 year old man was charged with four felonies including soliciting child for prostitution, sex assault, first-degree kidnapping, and facilitating sex trafficking for a victim who is under the age of 18. The victims grandmother reported her missing and she found her iPad that showed she was talking to the 44 year old. The girl, who was described as under 14, told the man if he wanted to have sex it would cost $5 and gave him her address. The man said he was driving a silver Malibu.
Members of a family in New York have been convicted for a sex trafficking ring. Five members of the family were convicted of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of minors, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and money laundering conspiracy in federal court last Friday. For 11 years, transported women and girls, including minors, to the United States and coerced them to work in prostitution, according to the Eastern District of New York. The men promised them love and a better life. The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the most serious charge.
In Northeast Tennessee, eight men were arrested in an undercover operation for child sex trafficking. The operation lasted two days TBI human trafficking unit and detectives with the Johnson City Police Department. Last week, authorities places ads on websites trying to identify people that were seeking commercial sex acts with minors. The operation also focused on identifying victims.
58-year-old Kenneth Wayne Hart has been convicted in a federal drug and sex trafficking case for prostituting women in the District and in Maryland and using the Internet to advertise, according to federal prosecutors.
He was also found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking along with sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. Hart ran a prostitution business that recruited women to engage in sex acts. supplied the women with heroin and crack cocaine and threatened to withhold drugs.
On Monday, March 9, special agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a residence located in Goldsboro associated with an ongoing human trafficking investigation.
Karen Lynn Anderson, 47, was arrested on Monday, March 9, 2020, and charged with one count of human trafficking of an adult victim. William Henry Thornton, 76, charged with one count of attempted first-degree forcible rape. Jeffrey Leon Harding, 48, charged with one count of possession of firearm by felon, one count of possession of a stolen firearm.
A man in western Iowa will spend 12.5 months in prison after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography and transporting a person across state lines. He picked up an 18-year old woman and a 17-year-old girl from Omaha, Nebraska. He took them to his home and gave them drugs. He knew the girls ages. He is ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.
Washington County, Oregon two men were arrested with a sex trafficking in the county. Detectives were investigating multiple victims, including a 17-year-old girl. Officials learned that a 21-year-old male met the victim online and knew she was underage. He coordinated the victim to meet with men who paid for sexual acts or explicit content. He was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of compelling position, three counts of promoting prostitution and first degree unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.
Over the next few months and into next year, there are major sporting events heading to the Tampa Bay area in Florida. WrestleMania and the Super Bowl. The adult businesses in the area must 3make sure they are complying with a human trafficking ordinance. Teams in Hillsborough Counties are looking to check to see if they have signs that are the right size and show the correct information at strip clubs and massage parlors. These signs must be displayed in different languages as well. If business are not in compliance, they will get a notice that says they have 30 days to update or they could be cited.
TAMPA (WFLA) – 8 On Your Side’s “Storefronts for Sex” investigation triggered a crackdown on illicit health spas in Tampa. Compliance teams are doing a sweep of spas, parlors and adult businesses across Hillsborough County. They are checking the human trafficking signage at these establishments all week long.
The new red and white signs, which state the National Human Trafficking Resource Center phone number 1-888-373-7888, must be clearly visible to customers and workers. A business that fails to have the proper signs will face a $265 fine.
Atlanta, Georgia is in the top 14 of the U.S cities with the most sex trafficking activity. They want to combat it with House Bill 823. HB 823 would allow the Georgia Department of Driver Services to revoke a person’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) and impose a lifetime CDL ban in Georgia for those who are convicted and knowingly used a commercial vehicle to commit any type of human trafficking. They want this bill to pass before the legislative session ends. The crossover day deadline is approaching.
A 52-year-old man was arrested in Butler, Georgia on sex trafficking. It happened from 2018-2018 and involved a 14-year-old girl. The man is accused of sexually exploiting the teenager. The victim came forward after the man threated to post the pictures of her if she didn’t allow him to take more of her. He’s charged with, trafficking of a person for sexual servitude, sexual exploitation of a child, enticing a child for indecent purposes, rape and two counts of aggravated child molestation.
Tennessee has had 823 human trafficking cases reported since 2007. 93 cases last year. Chattanooga has a higher risk of human trafficking then most other cities in Tennessee. Chattanooga is close to Atlanta and has many busy highways like I-75 and I-24. Tennessee has community leaders and law enforcement officers that want to put a stop to human trafficking. Tennessee wants to provide support for the victims along with justice. They fully want traffickers to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
A Scores strip club in Florida employed a “severely” disabled 17-year-old sex trafficking victim with a fake ID and allowed her to be groped and molested by grownup males, a scathing lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges.
The woman, recognized in courtroom papers as Jane Doe, was developmentally 13 years outdated when her trafficker introduced her to the chain’s Tampa location. For the following three days, the minor was plied with Xanax and booze by the club and different dancers, supplied cocaine and was pressured to carry out “sexually express acts.”
At Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, Alabama three airport employees and a Delta Airlines manager helped a 21-year-old girl from an attempted human trafficking incident. The mother of this woman was looking for her car in the parking garage after dropping her daughter off and the Airport Public Relations and Customer Service Manager approached her to help find it. A they were looking she found out that her daughter was going on the plane to meet people for a modeling job. The agent quickly knew that was suspicious, so she met the woman at the gate after her mother described her. The agent tried to get her not to get on the plane, but the 21-year-old is old enough make decisions for herself. A little after, the woman got off the plane saying the modeling agents canceled the flight.
A 30- year-old man from Decatur, Illinois has been indicted on child exploitation charges. The man is accused of enticement of a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of children and sex trafficking of children. He was attempting to traffic a child under the age of 14. He used the internet and a cellphone to entice the minor to engage in sexual activity. The authorities say he acted like he was a 17-year old male while he was in contact with the minor.
Four men have been arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida for a range of child sex crimes. These men were communicating online with who they thought were children however, they were undercover detectives. The four men range in ages from 27-54. All four of these men were released from jail after paying the bail.
A Houston, Texas former police officer has been charged with sexual assault of an underage woman last September. A sex trafficker put her in a hotel a couple of days before she met with the former police officer. The officer paid her $180 to have sex with her. When the 16-year-old met police in Las Vegas she told them about the police officer in Houston and they found evidence on her phone that supported what she was saying.
A man from Haiti, used two of his houses from Boston, Massachusetts for sex trafficking and has been sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison. This 51-year-old used social media to locate his four victims and he convinced them to live with him. All four of the victims were from Maine, and he picked them all up. He trafficked these women from 2012-2016. He was convicted of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. He was ordered to pay his victims $728,000 in restitution.
The coalition aims to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Berkeley community and invited T Ortiz, one of Time Magazine’s 2013 “30 Under 30” nominees, as a keynote speaker to discuss the issue of human trafficking. Ortiz, who was a victim of trafficking herself, said society needs to realize that victims do not need pity; instead, victims need to be supported in many ways.
“We are talking about our girls,” Alejandre said at the event. “They are people too and they are not just defined by their trafficking experience.”
The state of Virginia was ranked sixth for active cases in 2018 for human trafficking. The state had almost 200 reported cases in the 2018. Interstate 95 is the main concern for the state. State and local law enforcement are staying vigilant also help to aid the victims. A conference was held in November that offered training for criminal justice professions. In 2015, Virginia was the only state without human trafficking laws, later that year they implemented two new laws.
Manhattan District Attorney will award $2 Million over the next three years to address youth sex trafficking in New York City. Traffickers are targeting children and teens, and the children in the welfare system are at a higher risk. The initiative that was developed by Administration for Children’s Services and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence are tackling this problem. The money will be used for healthcare, crisis counseling, shelter and long-term goals like education and employment.
In Yakima, Washington two men are being charged with human trafficking a minor. The 16-year-old victim came to the police in January of this year. The two men would buy her alcohol and get her blacked out drunk. The two men took her to a hotel where a man in her 30’s and a man in his 70’s was waiting.
BOSTON – 74-year old Walter Brown was sentenced to 15 years on Friday in federal court in Springfield on sex trafficking and sexual exploitation charges.
On Oct 11, 2019, co-defendant Claire Poole was sentenced to 10 and a half years (125 months) in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. Poole moved to the Springfield area in early 2017 and later helped Brown have sex with a teenage girl.
A UPD officer is hosting a human trafficking safety conference on Thursday. This event is happening at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. The goal of the conference is to raise awareness of what is happening on a local, state and national level on human trafficking. They wan to put it to an end. Texas ranks first in the nation for active human trafficking cases.
In Cleveland, Ohio two people have been charged with human trafficking. A 20-year-old woman recruited three teenage girls to participate in sexual activity. A pastor patronized these girls twice. He paid to have sex with the underage girls around August and November in 2018. If convicted, the woman could face up to 10-15 years while the pastor could face up to six years.
Texas is making a huge stride that could help give survivors a fresh new start. The governor’s office of Texas has announced that survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse can apply for clemency and have their crimes pardoned. Their application would go to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and they would determine if they were forced to do the crime by the trafficker or abusive partner. If so, they could be pardoned for their crime.
A man in Oxford, Nebraska has been arrested on human trafficking charges. He has been charged with three counts of felony sex trafficking a minor. The maximum penalty for each of the counts is life in prison. A month ago, another man in Furnas County was arrested on similar charges. He faces five felonies.
A fashion executive’s office has been raided in Manhattan, New York. He is facing a sexual assault and Trafficking Lawsuit that has been filed this month. The multimillionaire was the subject of an investigation from 2015 to 2017 for human trafficking. The man has not been charged yet.
Three men in Bloomington, Illinois have been charged with sex trafficking and child pornography. These men are from the ages of 20-24. The investigation began in June and the Bloomington Police Department worked with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The next 12 months will be a busy time for Tampa, Florida. Two major sporting events are coming, and the city is preparing for them now. WrestleMania and the Super Bowl will bring in thousands of sports fans to the city. Major sporting events like this can attract more illegal sex trade. Hillsborough County created a commission on human tracking, and they met for the first time this week. They crated a hero program which is designed for the community and business to look out for signs.
After rescuing seven goats from a slaughterhouse, Rob and Debbie Canton are now helping raise money and awareness for human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area after reading a blog post from Bill Gates that said “Can Goats Empower Women?”
The project began in India to help women gain an income and become less vulnerable to fraudulent job officers. Proceeds from the goat sculptures that project G.O.A.T. sells will go to organizations that help fight human trafficking both locally and globally. There are currently 56 goat sculptures that have been made in advance which are scheduled to be sold for the Super Bowl LVI.
Police have recovered six girls that are minors from a hotel room in Portland Oregon. The investigation started a week ago when officers responded to a shot fired call and a possible abduction that happened on 15th Avenue. Two more girls went missing the next day in Portland. Two adult males were taken into custody.
In Waco, Texas a 34-year-old man was arrested last year on a felony charge involving child pornography. He is facing new charges of a second-degree charge. The new charge came when investigators found thousands of child pornography images. Australian law enforcement conducted a raid and informed U.S DHS of suspicious activity.
Airbnb has teamed up with Polaris, who are a non-profit that fights human trafficking. Airbnb has seen a variety of sex trafficking at the rentals. Airbnb has rentals all over the world and they are starting to create a safety training for the agents. In sex trafficking cases that listed where a commercial sex act took place 81.5% were at a hotel.
In Georgia, a lawmaker has proposed a bill that will ban human traffickers from operating commercial vehicles for life. This bill mirrors No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act that President Trump signed in January 2018. In the state of Georgia, if you are transporting 16 or more people you need a commercial driver’s license. House Bill 823 would permanently revoke the license of a driver involved in human trafficking.
Following Super Bowl 54 in Miami, Florida twenty-two women trapped in human trafficking were rescued over Super Bowl weekend. The victims were all female ranging from ages of 15 to 38. Four of the victims were from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, 14 from other states and four from foreign countries. Five people were charged with trafficking and three of them on federal crimes. Eight buyers were also arrested. With the joined forces of local, state and federal agencies it was a success said a special agent of Homeland Security.
Nine years ago, a woman from Maine went down to Seekonk, Massachusetts to help a man that he knew. Once they checked into a hotel the man turned violent. She was held against her will for days and was sexually assaulted. Once she escaped, she did something that nobody has ever done at the time. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act she sued the hotel for its role in the crime. She said they knew that she was needed help, but they did nothing. She won the lawsuit and now more victims are suing hotels for the same thing.
Simpsonville, South Carolina a workshop was held on the signs of human trafficking. Hotel staff at the Holiday INN Express & Suites were at the workshop learning about signs that they showed watch out for throughout the hotel. Nonprofit SWITCH was also helping put the workshop on. SWITCH wants to end human trafficking in the Upstate. It has five programs for survivors of human trafficking.
In Connecticut legislators and advocates want ways to combat human trafficking. They want increased prevention efforts and services to support women and children who are at a higher risk to exploitation. The meeting that legislators had this week want to expand Connecticut’s definition of sex trafficking. They also want victims not to be charged with trafficking if their trafficker made them recruit other kids.
In Tampa, Florida a man was convicted in 2019 involving a minor. He told the judge that he kept hearing voices. Court records show that they met with another man at an apartment complex. A search warrant shows text messaging showing the location of the meet up and the price. Also, with the phone records they came across websites used for prostitution.
In Cleveland, Ohio a priest was charged with possession of child pornography and now he faces other charges. He has been indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury and he faces allegations in Geauga County involving children and abuse.
Brown County, Wisconsin non-profits and lawmakers are working on a bill to help fight human trafficking. The bill has a 5,000 surcharge for men caught buying sex. Human trafficking is growing in Wisconsin with cases being seen in every county in the state. The anti-human trafficking organization Eye Heart World started four-and-a-half years ago and has helped 190 women.
MGM Northfield Park is donating $10,000 to a local task force that is dedicated to stopping human trafficking in northeastern Ohio. Summit County Sheriff Division of Human Trafficking and Prostitution will help with healthcare for victims and provide resources to the sheriff’s department. MGM Northfield Park is also offering training to its employees to understand the signs for human trafficking. Ohio reported around 400 cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Ohio is fourth in the number of cases.
A student organization group at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida held a conference on human trafficking to educate students and others who wanted to learn more about this issue. There were many guest speakers who talked about different topics in human trafficking. The history on human trafficking and the laws on human trafficking. Case studies were read that the audience interacted with. This conference was put on by the TOT which is Triumph Over Trafficking.
A law passed by Congress in 2005 mandated that the Justice Department provide research, statistical review and analysis of severe trafficking of persons every two years in order to know the scope of the problem. Unfortunately, only one was ever done, in 2009.
This new bill will mandate that a comprehensive national study on human trafficking will be conducted every two years there will be statistical information available to the public to see as well as help experts in human trafficking to learn how human traffickers are currently operating and how to stop them. Kevin Malone, president of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, said that these national studies “would be a tremendous help because a lot of people don’t believe the problem exists.”
A man is in federal court on two counts of sex trafficking in Sacramento, California. One of them involving a child. A 30-page criminal complaint that was filed in December of 2018 has four years of sex trafficking activity. Sunnyvale Police interviewed three females that this man had been using.
A nonprofit Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking in Seattle, Washington is assisting leaders in the business world on ways to prevent human trafficking. The biggest way in and out of Seattle is the port and they are stepping up the efforts to spot and end human trafficking through the ports. Signs are going up in and around the port for victims on how to find help.
This time of the year in New Orleans, Louisiana is Carnival season. With Mardi Gras, then the French Quarter Fest millions of people will come to New Orleans over this time period. A human traffic survivor works as the prevention assistant and survivor leader at Eden House. She wants to help get the message out to young girls.
High school students in Columbus Georgia take a stand to bring awareness to fight human trafficking. The Northside Freedom Fighters that they are called wore Red X’s on their hands. Sex trafficking is the second-fastest growing crime in the U.S. One teacher says “sex trafficking is a huge issue in Columbus, Georgia and Atlanta.” The state of Georgia has a high number of human trafficking cases.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is hosting special events on Thursday February 13th. People from across the world will join together and raise awareness. “End It” movement calls for people to draw a red X on their hands to represent the millions that are enslaved. Ohio ranks fourth for the number of human trafficking cases.
After being released from prison in 2010, ex FBI informant, Ray Lawrence moved into his daughter’s dormitory in NY City. Soon, he started doing “therapy sessions” with her roommates, convincing them that they were broken and need of fixing and that he could help them.
Ranch Hands Rescue in Denton County, Texas is opening a male survivors of sex trafficking home.
Ranch Hands Rescue is a counseling center and animal shelter that rescues animals from abuse or neglect and puts them in therapy to use for people who have been abused, exploited or traumatized by violence. Bob’s House of Hope will help men of ages 17 to 24.
Car Credit Tampa is a used car dealership in Tampa, Florida and they donated $2,000 in cash to a charitable organization to assist in their efforts. Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. was the award winner. GLS has distinguished themselves in the area, steadily demonstrating their dedication to serving vulnerable individuals in the county. GLS serves those living in poverty, low-wage workers, persons with disabilities, veterans, the homeless, the LGBTQ community, victims of domestic violence or human trafficking, and the elderly. GLS provides assistance to the Hispanic community via civil legal assistance in the areas of immigration, human trafficking, family law, financial stability, and housing.
A U.S Justice Department anti-human trafficking grant program has internal complaints, after two nonprofits were denied funding in favor of two groups that aren’t well established the applications were not recommended. The grant is more than one million dollars in total to the two groups. This triggered a whistleblower complaint filed by the Justice Department. Two long-established nonprofits didn’t get the grant.
A 47-year old Facebook moderator in Tampa, Florida is suing Facebook for his PTSD from watching graphic content. Content moderator’s watch graphic content all day. In July 2019, he had to take a leave of absence from his job after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Other Facebook workers are saying that the hours of other disturbing content are harming their mental health.
Raymond Rodio III had been running the drug-fueled brothel, which involved more than 20 women in their 20s, since 2014. He set up dates through Backpage and Craigslist.
On February 4th, Rodio plead guilty to operating a sex trafficking ring in the basement of his parents’ home, where he occasionally locked them inside and forced them to use a bucket as a toilet. He is expected to be sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.
“This is the first time my office has used financial crime to indict alleged traffickers, which has the elegance of sparing the trafficked women from testifying,” McCann said. “By following the money, we are alleging a case of financial crimes that led from one Denver home, to massage parlors around Denver, to bank accounts in China.”
“This list ensures that their promotion and collusion with sexual assault, sex trafficking, pornography, the eroticization of incest, and more, becomes public knowledge, and equips concerned citizens with information and tools to hold them accountable.”
Mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder are common in trafficking victims, said Joan Reid, a licensed mental health counselor and an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Texas is the number 1 state in the county for human trafficking. San Antonio, Texas is the hub for trafficking. Interstate 10 and Interstate 35 are the main corridors. Maria Perez, a human trafficking survivor and the founder for Our Empowering Women of America, is helping local resources in fighting this problem. Lat year in Texas, they had 561 human trafficking cases. It’s not just teens that are being trafficking its men and woman of all age and races.
In Sonoma County, California there has been an increased public outreach over the past decade to raise awareness about human trafficking. The executive director of Verity, which is a Sonoma County nonprofit offers services and support to trafficking victims and sometimes coordinates with law-enforcement agencies conducting enforcement operations said “”Human trafficking happens every single day in Sonoma County”. People think it isn’t a problem here, they think it’s a problem that happens in other places of the world. Drug dealing is the largest crime, human trafficking is number two and is more difficult to enforce. With the human trafficking industry growing rapidly, agencies and organizations are partnering up to stop this.
Fort the past 13 years there was been 92-120 victims of human trafficking in Wyoming. The Alliance for Freedom, Restoration and Justice based out of Wyoming has been shinning a light on this industry. They have been working with the city of Laramie, Wyoming and the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Taskforce to strengthen the efforts in the state. They want to understand how trafficking is happening in the state and how to prevent it. Sometimes you only hear about high-profile cases about human trafficking, but it can happen anywhere. January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness day in the United States. The AFRJ launched the Everyday Heroes Challenge on this day. The challenge is designed for everyday people to take a course to become heroes against human trafficking.
In Las Vegas, Nevada Lyft drivers are learning the signs of human trafficking and how they can assist if they suspect victims are riders. Nevada is number 10 in the total number of human trafficking cases in the U.S, around 5,600 victims of child sex trafficking in the state. Lyft has partnered with Business Ending Slavery and Trafficking and the Dressember Foundation to train the drivers. Lyft wants to effect a positive change and build and maintain a safe community.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority was awarded $43,630 in federal grants to train PTSA employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking. Human traffickers know they need to operate in the shadows, and they use public transportation to move the victims. The bus drivers and transit employees operate on the frontline in the fight of human trafficking. Florida is third in human trafficking behind California and Texas. With Pinellas County, Florida receiving this grant the numbers will drop.
A tattoo shop in Inverness, Florida is helping after they found out that woman and children are being branded and sold for sex in the Tampa Bay area. This has led to tattoo shops from Bradenton to Orlando offering services to cover up tattoos to victims. Twisted Ink was named part of Survivor’s Ink Network of tattoo shops. “The national nonprofit helps human trafficking victims remove brandings.” They will cover the cost of the tattoo and the artist.
A coffee shop in Fayetteville, North Carolina has a bigger mission than just sell coffee. In His Presence Coffee, Books, & More which opened six months ago and is veteran-owned. The two owners adopted a 16-year-old mother who was a victim of human trafficking and sold by her own mother. They take 100 percent of the profit and donate it back to a local charity. They are looking to partner with a local charity to fight human trafficking in Fayetteville. In His Presence Coffee, Books, & More says its goal “is to be able to partner with ministries that are fighting against human trafficking, slavery, and to help the community of young women and men aging out the local foster care system.”
A 38-year-old man was arrested in Tampa, Florida one count of human trafficking. This man few a 21-year-old woman to Tampa from Nebraska for the week. When the victim met with police, she said he was helping her become a plus size model for lingerie and swimsuits. She states when she was at the hotel she did not engage in any activity and she used her own money to keep the man happy.
In his executive order, Trump also called for a $4 million increase in funding toward investigating and prosecuting human trafficking in the U.S., in addition to a proposed increase in grant funding for state and local efforts, according to a White House official.
“The anti-trafficking community received a major shot in the arm this morning with President Trump’s announcement,” said Lance Lemmonds of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. “President Trump has committed more federal resources and more national focus on combating the systematic buying and selling of our nation’s kids than any administration in history.”
On January 31, 2020, “Trump signed an executive order Friday creating a position within his domestic policy team dedicated solely to fighting human trafficking. The order proposes an additional $42 million in funding for service programs and prosecutions…The order also establishes a federal working group on housing for trafficking survivors and a website listing the government’s anti-trafficking resources.”
In Phoenix, Arizona 27 men have been arrested this month through Operation Silent Predator. Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler police worked with Homeland Security Investigations and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office on the undercover operation. January 13, officers and detectives began placing ads on websites which are known to predators. The men ages differ from 21 to 69.
In Kingman, Arizona the Mohave County Sheriff’s office went undercover for sting operations for online predators. The mission of the operation was to identify and catch anyone was attempting to lure minors for sexual exploitation. This sting led to three individuals arrested.
The city of Tampa, Florida is getting ready for next years Super Bowl. The last time the Super Bowl was held in Tampa, was in 2009. Since 2009, the Tampa Bay police have added new features to their department. They now have the Real Time Crime Center, where the staff can monitor any city-owned camera. The Department of Homeland Security have reports that teach lessons for the Super Bowl.
Altoona, Pennsylvania is a hot spring for human trafficking. Every two minutes, a child is exploited in the sex industry. 300,00 children are sold every year. The month of January is human trafficking awareness month and in Altoona, they have red sand covering sidewalks to raise awareness. The Red Sandy Project is a national movement that symbolizes people “who fall through the cracks of society”. People don’t know human trafficking is happening because they are not aware of the red flags. In 2018 police arrested two people in the first case of human trafficking in this region. Both face 40 charges. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you notice red flags.
Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez has teamed up with the NFL as part of the “Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign”. It will educate the public on signs on potential trafficking with visual materials. The NFL, law enforcement, and government agencies as well as over 300 state and local businesses, have joined forces for this campaign. Also, flight attendants, hotel, and rideshare employees will be trained. Sunday February 2nd is the Super Bowl and in Miami. FL. there will be an influx number of visitors in the city.
The state of Florida ranks third in the county for human trafficking and it is up 25%. With the Super Bowl being in Miami this year, law enforcement agencies are on high alert. This is good news that people are on high alert. Selah Freedom is a national anti-trafficking organization based out of Sarasota. They’ve helped train law enforcement and they helped in the Super Bowl in Houston. This year, the support is even larger. You will see the number posted everywhere. Large sporting events drive human trafficking up 10 times more than usual. Selah Freedom is in Sarasota, Florida and the Sarasota Police Department is setting the benchmark and keeping traffickers away.
Human trafficking is a serious public health issue that affects everybody in the community. It is estimated that there more than hundreds of thousands of victims in the U.S. Approximately 50,000 people are trafficked into the U.S yearly.
70 law enforcement officers and agents were involved in the operation. Those agencies included officers from the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Washington State Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, Everett Police Department, the FBI and the NCIS.
The St. Petersburg Police Department announced the establishment of a regional human trafficking task force Wednesday, after the agency received a $741,556 federal grant and 8 On Your Side is digging deeper into this growing problem in Florida.
In Englewood, NJ. the “Sex Trafficking: In Our Backyard” panel discusses how sex trafficking is taking place in our own communities. “Young people are often groomed by sexual predators, who may even be their friends and neighbors, by advertisements and by what they see on social media.” Teen girls report being recruited by sex traffickers on Instagram. #usiaht #endhumantrafficking
Uber rideshare is partnering with the Texas Attorney general to educate drivers on human trafficking. Assistant Attorney General Mallory Myers Vincent works with the Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section. It is estimated that there are 25 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. In the state of Texas, there are around are 79,000 victims of youth and minor sex trafficking. There are information sessions that are open this week in Dallas and Plano, Texas. This session will highlight the suspicious activity that uber drivers should watch out for.
“For years, sex trafficking ventures have brazenly operated in and out of hotels throughout this country,” the complaint says. “Criminals parade their misconduct openly on hotel properties throughout the United States while the hotels and hospitality industry continues to neglect the criminal misconduct to continue earning a profit at the expense of human life, human rights, and human dignity.”
A 28 year old woman was placing advertisements of an 18 year old girl on adult escorting sites around Tampa, Florida. Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies arrested the 28 year old and 18 year old but on different charges. That is where the sheriffs learned that she was being held against her will, they say the arrest saved her life. The victim was released and connected to Selah Freedom.
The war against sex trafficking is going high tech and the Tampa based U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking in Tampa has picked social media as its weapon of choice when it comes to deterring sex buyers. Natalie Kehn, who works on outreach for the group, said the nonprofit combs through thousands of online sex ads and messages potential trafficking victims.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) branches in Tampa and Atlanta launched human trafficking awareness outreach campaigns in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Girls can be as young as 12 when their “boyfriends” lure them into a life of sex trafficking. Traffickers ply their victims with drugs to encourage addiction, rendering them dependent, compliant and numbed. They force their victims to sell themselves many times a day. And victims’ troubles do not end there.
“There’s not much of it that goes on that doesn’t involve a hotel at one point or another,” said Jensen. “I mentioned that I had only had a couple experiences with this in my 45 years of managing hotels, but that could be because I was naive.”