Miami Beach Police Department officers arrested seven men on Thursday night after an investigation that lasted weeks resulted in two search warrants at two apartment buildings along the 700th block of Jefferson Avenue in South Beach. On Feb. 17, a 23-year-old victim of human trafficking that was trapped in the area called 911 to ask for help just before a severe beating.
The victim told officers she was struggling with suicidal ideations and described how she had been trapped in a cycle of abuse, prostitution, and addiction since the coronavirus pandemic began, police said.
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Maggie Hassan (D-Catherine Cortez Masto Senator nevadaN.H.), and Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio-16), Annie Kuster (N.H.-02), Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.-14), and Lucy McBath (Ga.-06) in reintroducing the END Child Exploitation Act, legislation designed to extend the period of time that technology companies are required to preserve information about child sexual abuse images they report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
The Phoenix Police Department, in partnership with other Arizona authorities, on Friday announced 37 arrests in connection to human trafficking and sex crimes. Undercover police placed ads on websites commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts with children as part of an investigation dubbed Operation Broken Hearts. The probe targeted “sexual predators engaged in child sex crimes and human trafficking,” Phoenix police wrote in a Friday Facebook post.
The Salvation Army is partnering with Catholic Charities to provide housing for victims of sex and human trafficking crimes.
The safe house is secure and not open to the public, but professionals provide meals, life-skill classes, and case management for the victims. The new grant gave Catholic Charities half a million dollars and a partnership with the Salvation Army which will allow them to house victims anywhere between 6-24 months.
Tampa, Fla. – Today, the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) announced results from Project ReachOut to provide services to victims and potential victims of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LV week in Tampa.
Utilizing integrated online technologies to allow victims of trafficking and individuals at high risk of being trafficked, to reach local service providers, Project Reach Out distributed over 5,800 text messages resulting in 4,325 contacts with victims and potential victims.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office seized the opportunity and made a record number of arrests during the Super Bowl week, as well as the recovery of six individuals believed to be victims of human trafficking. Throughout the course of the investigation dubbed “Operation Game Over,” which started Monday, February 1, 2021 and ended Saturday, February 6, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested a total of 75 people who were seeking to either buy or sell sex.
The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking would like to thank ABC News and Jackie Callaway for the opportunity to show the continued efforts we are doing with putting an end to human trafficking. The U. S. Institute Against Human Trafficking uses specialized software to find and reach victims virtually, said Natalie Kehn, director of operations for the organization, who runs its “Project Reach Out.” The institute uses the software to scrape tens of thousands of locally posted sex ads.
Legislators are taking aim at human trafficking this session with proposed laws that would help victims by making it easier to erase an arrest record and by requiring hotels and motels to stop offering hourly rates. HB 5557 proposed by Rep. Jillian Gilchrest, D-West Hartford, who heads the state’s Trafficking in Persons Council, would make it easier for victims to have a conviction erased if their crime is related to victimization due to human trafficking.
Officials in California recovered 33 missing children during Human Trafficking Awareness Month. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the children were found as part of the “Operation Lost Angels” initiative that began on January 11. Authorities say that of the 33 children recovered, at least eight had been sexually exploited.
Jacksonville FL — In a press conference promoting human trafficking awareness
Tuesday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced that Jacksonville Police, along with other community partners, were involved in rescuing or identifying 35 victims of human trafficking locally in 2020. Williams says of those 35, 8 were juveniles. Those numbers are up from 2019. We reported last year when JSO announced 19 people were rescued in 2019.
We need your help to ensure that the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF) places male victims of sex trafficking under the age of 18 at USIAHT’s Florida Safe Home.
Florida DCF identified 376 male youth victims between 2017-2019, while USIAHT’s Florida safe home provided care for only 19 victims during that period.
The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking needs your help to stop Congress from cutting over $1 Billion from victim service programs.
The U.S. Congress is working this week on the FY 2021 federal budget and initial drafts of the legislation include a 40% cut to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). These funds are earmarked for victims of crime and for grants to non-profit organizations who provide services to crime victims, and now Congress is attempting to take that money and spend it on other government programs.
The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), in partnership with the law firm of Serrano | McGuire, is launching the first of its kind online campaign to intercept online sex buyers looking to purchase sex during events leading up to Super Bowl LV on Sunday, February 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida.
Operation Stomp Out will utilize integrated online technologies to disrupt sex trafficking operations as traffickers and sex buyers descend on Tampa during the two weeks surrounding Super Bowl LV.
“The Super Bowl brings thousands of sex buyers, traffickers, and victims to the host city every year, and we expect Tampa to be no different,” said USIAHT Chairman Kevin Malone. “We are fully prepared to intervene in sex trafficking operations using the most advanced technology available to stop the purchase of sex before it happens and provide resources to victims.”
Over the past few months, while many of us were preoccupied with politics and the pandemic, U.S. Marshals bravely carried out a series of nationwide operations that rescued hundreds of human trafficking victims in at least seven states. These victimized women, runaway youngsters and children had been enslaved into a dangerous and deadly lifestyle by criminals who used their captives’ bodies to enrich themselves.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Twenty-two suspects were arrested after multiple law enforcement agencies in Tampa Bay teamed up to crack down on human trafficking.
Undercover detectives set up at an undisclosed motel and responded to online ads for commercial sex that had human trafficking indicators. When those responding to the ads showed up to the motel to engage in prostitution, they were screened to see if they were potential human trafficking victims.
Internet-savvy pimps are using social media to recruit young girls who have been left dislocated or economically vulnerable by the pandemic, according to a New York City detective.
Lt. Amy Caponga of the New York Police Department (NYPD) sex trafficking team says messaging apps are often used to control the girls’ movements once they’ve been trafficked and mobile payment services like Venmo exploited to get the money.
One impact of their broadening operations since the onset of COVID-19: some hotels and motels in the New York City area, once filled with tourists, have become sites for prostitution, Lt. Caponga told a recent webinar organized by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking actively engages federal, state, and local government officials who sit in a position to enact public policies to assist us in our fight to eradicate sex trafficking in the United States. USIAHT understands that the federal government plays a crucial role in combatting sex trafficking. A part of our mission is to educate and enlist Congress members in the fight.
The Bible says, “My people perish from lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) Without knowledge, we are powerless; but how can we obtain this knowledge?
This knowledge must be paired with action. All of us working toward eradicating sex trafficking demand more than rhetoric; we demand solutions. This standard inspired USIAHT to develop this inaugural Congressional Scorecard. The first system that rates members of the U.S. Congress on their commitment to enacting legislation to hold traffickers and sex buyers accountable, protect vulnerable populations, and meet survivors’ complex needs.
This grading system is designed to hold federal officeholders accountable for their attempts to improve or impede the federal response to combatting domestic human trafficking and educate the public on how federal elected officials perform in this fight.
We ask that you join us in this effort to hold elected officials accountable for their actions and share this Congressional Scorecard with coworkers, friends, and family.
SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) – An undercover investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office busted a human trafficking operation on Oct. 15.
The sheriff’s office said numerous women were detained for further investigation, as well as offered victim services and evaluations at the Akron General Hospital SANE Unit.
Three of those women accepted the offer for victim services, according to the sheriff.
‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ is the popular saying. The phrase is thought to have originated in part from the legal brothels of Nevada, where men are assured of anonymity. These brothels have been considered a necessary service industry in the area since the 19th century, when Nevada was populated almost entirely by male gold prospectors. There are currently 21 legal brothels in operation across seven of Nevada’s counties, and I’ve visited seven — as a journalist, not as a sex buyer. What I saw and learned was horrible.
The CEO of a California-based food company has resigned after he was charged and arrested for engaging in sexual relations with two underage girls, prosecutors said.
Ian Charles Schenkel, of Newport Beach, has formally stepped down from his role as chief executive officer of Haliburton International Foods on Friday.
Schenkel, 59, founded Haliburton International Foods in 1992 and has overseen the company’s expansion for the nearly three decades. Schenkel’s resignation comes after he was accused of engaging in prostitution with a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl.
Amanda Emilia Perez, of Huntington Beach, was also charged with pimping and pandering for arranging to bring the underage girls to him for sex.
‘The exploitation of children for sex acts shocks the public conscience,’ said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
‘It is reprehensible and it is unlawful. We will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law and we will work to ensure the judicial system protects these vulnerable victims.’
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested more than two dozen unlicensed contractors throughout a 10-day sting. The undercover operation was conducted in Sun City Center, an area where many elderly residents often fall victim to cons and scams, including construction fraud. Among the 27 people arrested, was a high-risk sexual offender on felony probation and a man who showed up to work with cocaine in his possession.
HUDSON — Police say a downtown massage parlor was a front for a prostitution and human trafficking ring.
Hudson police, in a joint investigation with the FBI’s Boston Division’s Child Exploitation-Human Trafficking Task Force, arrested three people Thursday at the Anjun Spa, 157 Main St., after an investigation, Police Chief Richard DiPersio said.
“Our detectives do a great job of monitoring these type of cases,” he said. “We received several tips from the communities, and we began this investigation several weeks ago.”
The police and FBI task force worked with the state Division of Professional Licensure Investigations to identify businesses that exploit children or traffic in adults for sexual purposes.
“Operation Patriot,” a collaborative human trafficking sting operation between 23 agencies, has resulted in 46 arrests and the rescue of five victims.
The arrests took place in two missions over a four-day span in September.
The first sting took place in Missouri City when undercover officers identified and arrested suspected human traffickers and sex buyers, commonly called “johns,” the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s office said. Officers also identified and rescued multiple victims.
A US man convicted of running a sex trafficking ring out of his elderly parents’ sprawling suburban home was sentenced today to nine and a half years in prison.
Raymond Rodio III, 49, was arrested in April 2019 and pleaded guilty in February this year to charges including sex trafficking and promoting prostitution.
After he completes his prison sentence, The Long Island man must register as a sex offender and spend five years under court supervision.
“This defendant had a sex dungeon in his parents’ home and forced women into sex slavery,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said.
LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment that charges a San Gabriel Valley woman with sex trafficking five immigrant women by hiring them to work at massage parlors and forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts.
Mei Xing, 59, a.k.a. “Xing Mei,” “Anna,” and “Boss,” of San Gabriel, is charged with five counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. Xing previously was indicted on June 12 on one count of sex trafficking, and today’s charging document adds four additional victims.
PALM DESERT – Thirteen suspects were arrested on prostitution charges during a 12-hour Solicitation of Prostitution operation in the city of Palm Desert. On 09/23/2020, members of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) with the assistance of the Palm Desert Special Enforcement Team (SET) and Palm Desert Business District Team (BDT), conducted the sex trafficking demand reduction operation from 11 AM until 11 PM.
Washington, DC- Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-NY) released the following statements after introducing their bipartisan bill to renew authorization for the Public-Private Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking.
The council provides a direct line to federal government agencies that will streamline unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles by empowering nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations in the fight against human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a terrible scourge and we must all work together to defeat it,” said Curtis. “Last Congress, the President signed my bill into law creating the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking which brought the Federal government and prevention and rehabilitation experts together. Organizations like Utah’s Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) have led the way in fighting human trafficking and offer invaluable expertise to the Council. To ensure the critical work of this advisory council continues, I’ve introduced the Human Trafficking Council Extension Act to reauthorize the Council and give its members additional time to meet and recommend best practices to help put an end to human trafficking.”
ATLANTA — U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr says the federal government is awarding more than $100 million in grants to target human trafficking.
The money will go to task forces combating human trafficking, to victim services and victim housing.
Barr made the announcement Monday in Atlanta with presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
President Donald Trump’s administration in August awarded $35 million in Justice Department grants to organizations that provide safe housing for victims of human trafficking.
The Honorable William K. Sessions III sentenced Brian Folks, 45, to twenty-two years and six months in prison today, followed by ten years of supervision upon release. A federal jury in Burlington, Vermont, previously found Folks guilty of 13 federal felonies after a nearly three-week trial back in May 2019. Evidence presented at trial showed that Folks ran an extensive and violent sex and drug trafficking operation that sold heroin and cocaine base throughout the greater Burlington area and forced young, drug-addicted women to prostitute.
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter and one of his top advisers, will pay a visit to Atlanta with U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday.
A White House official confirmed the visit to Channel 2′s Richard Elliot. The trip plans to highlight the Trump administration’s initiatives to protect survivors of human trafficking.
Trump and Barr will meet with Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia first lady Marty Kemp, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and state and federal law enforcement.
“The Trump administration continues to fight tirelessly to end the scourge of human trafficking in our communities. The leaders and community members we’re meeting with in Atlanta are on the front lines of this fight and are critical to our efforts to end this horrific crime,” Ivanka Trump said. “I look forward to learning more about the critical services they provide and announcing additional funding and resources from the Trump administration to assist in these efforts.”
DALLAS — Two Dallas men were arrested Sept. 9 after a grand jury indicted them on charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of children, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Texas.
A third man, accused of advertising sex with a minor online, is already in federal custody and faces the same charges.
Investigators rescued the girl after posing as a buyer responding to the online advertisement. The victim was “clearly a child under the age of 18 in both her physical appearance and mannerisms,” according to a search warrant application written by investigators.
Kention Obryan Johnson, 35, and Sergio Trinidad Carvajal, 30, visited the hotel room where the child was kept, according to the U.S. Attorney.
Two Prattville women were charged with human trafficking after they were allegedly caught encouraging other women to engage in sexual activity for money.
According to court records, a 21-year-old woman was arrested Saturday about 9:30 p.m. at a downtown Montgomery hotel after she enticed another woman to assist her in performing a sexual massage. The woman, unbeknownst to her, had coordinated a meeting with an undercover law enforcement officer by answering a message on a website, according to her arrest affidavit.
The U.S. Marshals Service recently launched a nationwide effort to recover missing and exploited children. Three major operations rescued over 100 children, many of them from sex traffickers. But a disturbing trend discovered during the operation should launch a nationwide investigation into the American child welfare system. PJ Media reached out to USMS for details on the rescued children and was told that the majority of them came from foster care. This information was ignored in the initial media reports on the operation. Dave Oney, press contact at the USMS, responded via email to questions about the rescued children.
Former detective Christopher Butts, along with five other men, were arrested following a months-long operative against child sex crimes.
PHOENIX — A former detective with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is accused of trying to entice a minor for sex for the second time this year.
The arrest came after a month-long sting operation to catch sexual predators in a joint law enforcement operation called “Operation Home Alone 2” in Pinal County.
“Operation Home Alone 2” was designed as a proactive operation to combat child sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking. Between Aug. 26 and Sept. 3 multiple arrests were made as a result.
CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WHSV) — 20 Attorneys General from around the country asked President Trump for support in funding for a childcare protection program.
W. Va. AG Partick Morrisey is on board with the National Child ID Act, H.R. 4172, which would help parents, as well as law enforcement, in instances of abduction, exploitation and human trafficking.
This legislation would enable states to request grant funding for identification kits for children in kindergarten through sixth grade.
The identification kits would record a child’s physical characteristics, as well as take their fingerprints and DNA.
Over the last five days 18, people were arrested in San Joaquin County for attempting to have sexual contact with a minor – tying the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department’s record for an operation of that type.
And with additional resources allocated to the investigation including some provided from the Federal government, the net for nabbing those who would wish to harm a minor was much larger this time around.
According to Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann, the operation also included representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Justice, and even the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office that aided in apprehending somebody who was aggressively pursuing the undercover decoy online but was outside of the operation’s jurisdiction.
The U.S. Marshals announced this week that they had located and rescued eight missing children in Indiana. The missing children recovered in “Operation Homecoming” were said to be “highly endangered.”
The children were “considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sex abuse, physical abuse and medical or mental health conditions,” according to the statement released by the U.S. Marshals Service, Southern District of Indiana.
(LUBBOCK, TX) – The Lubbock Police Department’s Special Operations Division, Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigation Division, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and Homeland Security Investigations conducted a two-day prostitution operation, August 31 through September 2, at local hotels on Avenue Q which resulted in fifteen arrests
GREAT FALLS — Corey James Cannon has been charged in Great Falls with aggravated promotion of prostitution.
On August 25th, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) consulted with Great Falls police officers about an ongoing investigation regarding Cannon, who is an active-duty airman assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base.
Court documents state that Cannon attempted to have sexual contact with a youth in Great Falls and was arrested on or about August 6th. OSI took jurisdiction of that investigation and seized Cannon’s phone.
Dozens of kids were rescued in “Operation Not Forgotten” this week. While most of the activity in the investigation was in the Atlanta area, WSB-TV reports that three arrests were made right here in Pinellas County. The two week search for missing children was an effort to find victims of sex trafficking. In all there were 9 arrests. Three of them were at an unnamed motel in Clearwater.
James Garcia has been charged with aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and incest with a minor. WSB reports a U.S. Marshal Senior Inspector says Garcia was found in the Clearwater motel with a missing 3 year old.
PHOENIX — Mesa police arrested eight suspects as part of an undercover operation targeting child sex crimes and human trafficking, the department announced Thursday.
Operation Vampire Cough had officers and undercover detectives placing advertisements on websites commonly used by individuals to seek out illegal sex acts.
Suspects solicited or made deals for various child sex acts and were subsequently arrested, the department said.
ATLANTA – Law enforcement officers describe them as some of the most challenging recovery cases in the state, but Thursday the U.S. Marshals Service announced the rescue of 39 missing children from all over Georgia.
During a two-week-long effort, dubbed “Operation Not Forgotten,” the Marshals Service worked with state and local law enforcement to rescue 26 children and safely locate another 13.
A 15-year-old girl said she was passed off to multiple men in exchange for money, Kentucky police said.
Steven Hargrove, 40, of La Vergne, Tennessee, was involved with the girl for “some time,” according to Kentucky State Police.
The girl’s mother said she was following a vehicle her missing daughter was in Monday night in Daviess County, state police said. She told police the car stopped at a gas station, where an officer soon arrived, according to an arrest citation.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Franklin County, Ohio, grand jury indicted three men for human trafficking and prostitution.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the grand jury returned a 23 count RICO indictment against Marcus Jahroam Carmon, 36, Anthony Lamont Dunn, 46, and Bradley C. Powell, 28.
Prosecutors said Carmon was the ring leader and has been charged with the following:
-Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
-Trafficking in Persons – Commercial Sex Acts with Specification
A Denver grand jury on Thursday indicted seven individuals and 12 businesses on 33 felony counts in a human trafficking scheme.
Denver police and the district attorney’s office conducted a year-long investigation called “Operation Bad Apple” into a number of massage parlors and illegal marijuana businesses that investigators believe garnered millions of dollars by trafficking women from China, laundering money and evading taxes, according to a statement.
ATLANTA (CBS46)—The Georgia Bureau of Investigations have added another tool to its arsenal to combat human trafficking in Georgia.
According to Governor Brian Kemp’s office, the GBI created the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit to be housed within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The newly created unit will be staffed by four special agents and will focus on the enforcement efforts of commercial sex trafficking and labor trafficking as well as the rescue of adult trafficking victims.
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)–The pandemic has led to a surge in sex trafficking , according to a private investigator who is based in the Midlands.
Investigator Chandra Cleveland has helped rescue many victims from sex trafficking.
“Last year almost to the date, of a 14-year-old that I had been looking for with her mother and father for nine months — almost 10 months — ended up finding another 14 year old with the same guy that was on house arrest for the same crime,” Cleveland said.
Sex trafficking is a major issue every parent and human being wants to stop. Here are some tips on how you can help stop this horrendous act. Believe it or not, children younger than 12-years-old are falling victim to sex trafficking. The young children are forced to perform “tricks” for adult entertainment and in exchange for reimbursement. Many believe sex trafficking is not a problem in the United States.
With children and adults spending more time online due to virtual learning and increased working from home, the center says there are more opportunities for children to be exploited online. The center says in the first quarter of the year they became aware of predators openly discussing the pandemic as an opportunity to entice unsupervised children into producing sexually explicit material.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Dozens of people from around the Coastal Empire gathered in Johnson Square this afternoon for a “Save The Children’ flash rally.
“Exploitation of children is not something that happens only on private islands in the Carribean,” Box said. “It’s something that takes place in our schools, in our churches, in our streets, and the reason why we’re bringing awareness today, the reason why we have this rally is because we feel like it’s an issue that hasn’t gotten enough attention.”
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – With more children at home, experts across the nation are predicting higher rates of human trafficking, and with many students being schooled virtually, the cause for concern is even higher.
According to Pittman, with more children at home, sex trafficking and other crimes are a concern.
“One thing for any parent when it comes to anything when it comes to your child of any age is to be aware,” Pittman said. “Be involved, be aware of what your child is doing, be aware of who they’re with, who’s their social circles, who’s their friends.”
WASHINGTON (WJW/AP) — President Donald Trump says human trafficking has increased and dangers for survivors have heightened during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Department of Justice has issued $35 million in grants to 73 organizations nationwide providing assistance to human trafficking victims,” Trump said.
Trump explained that human trafficking poses a threat both domestically and internationally.
“You think of human trafficking as being an ancient form of crime. It is not. Because of the internet, it’s a very modern crime all over the world, not just here,” said Trump. “My administration will never rest in the fight against human trafficking.”
Barr called human trafficking an “evil scourge,” and he thanked President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka for working to end human trafficking and help survivors. Beyond the financial support, Barr said his department will do everything possible to “investigate, prosecute and punish” traffickers.
The $35 million in Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking is being provided by the Office for Victims of Crime within the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs to provide housing and services to human trafficking survivors.
Spurred on by Maxwell’s arrest, and on a mission to topple additional, powerful figures who pull the strings of what is a billion-dollar industry, Freedom Youth NYC recently held a press conference on Fordham Plaza on Monday, July 20, calling on the public to end the silence surrounding the sex trade, and expose those who exploit children and young adults. Monique Riley, a sex trafficking survivor and fierce public speaker, is the organization’s CEO and Founder.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) today announced support for the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act (Act) to end the use of “warrant-proof” encrypted technology utilized by sex traffickers and buyers to conceal their criminal activities.
Fremont, California — A Bay Area man is in federal custody and awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that allege he set up sex trafficking websites on an international scale, raking in $21 million in proceeds within a two-year span.
Colorado Springs, Colorado– A man was arrested and is being charged with attempted human trafficking of a minor in Colorado Springs. In 2019, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 176 cases of trafficking the state of Colorado.
“We are especially excited that our friend Heather Fischer has been appointed Special Advisor for Human Trafficking”, said CEO Kevin Malone. “I have worked alongside Heather on many efforts to stop human trafficking in the United States and abroad. She is one of the most passionate and capable champions in this fight and will be an invaluable ally for those of us on the front lines fighting this scourge.”
Washington, D.C. — The number of people seeking emergency shelter to escape human trafficking surged in the month following U.S. lockdown orders implemented to slow the spread of coronavirus, a leading anti-trafficking group said on Monday.
Auburn, Alabama– Multiple agencies in Lee County have gotten together this year to discuss the growing problem of sex and human trafficking. “[There are] kids [who] don’t really have a way to make money, a lot of times they have to do things that they don’t like to do in order to get food, to get shelter,” Teresa Collier, an intelligence analyst, said. “So a lot of times what we see are those runaway kids, they’re engaging in survival sex.”
Beloit, Wisconsin — Employees from jobs spanning multiple industries have received training in spotting the signs of human trafficking in a bid to alert authorities sooner of possible dangerous situations.
Sacramento, California — With signers from 192 countries, anti-trafficking expert Laila Mickelwait’s “Traffickinghub” petition to shut down Pornhub for allegedly enabling and profiting from the sex trafficking and rape of women and children on the site has surpassed one million signatures.
Beaumont, Texas — A Groves woman and a Beaumont man are facing charges of human trafficking after police located a missing juvenile in a hotel room last week. Police in Beaumont responded to the Petro Truck Stop at Walden Road and I-10 in reference to the missing juvenile. The information they received sent them to several hotels in the area in an attempt to locate the victim before they were told she was last seen at the Executive Inn, according to a press release from BPD Officer Haley Morrow.
Beloit, Wisconsin — With Beloit positioned as a transportation hub near Milwaukee and Chicago, the Beloit Police Department says it is taking steps to combat human trafficking and raise awareness in the community about the problem. “We tell our officers that when they come across someone—especially a young woman or man—who has been battered and is reluctant to talk to police, that is the person they need to spend extra time with,” Police Department Inspector Stigler said. “They need to talk about their background, where they grew up, where they have been and who have they been associated with and who they get money from.”
Tucson, Arizona — The Tucson Police Department is raising awareness about the global crisis of human and sex trafficking with the help of Faith, a young woman who was trafficking for 7 years by the MS-13 gang. “I never learned to read, or write, and now I am going to classes to get my GED,” Faith said. “I want to become a social worker so I can help other victims.”
Dayton, Ohio– Sex trafficking has increased because of job loss, a lack of housing security and reduced social and public services according to Abolition Ohio, an anti trafficking coalition organized by the University of Dayton. The public is invited to attend on Zoom The Abolition Ohio Monthly Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition Meetings to learn about resources available to students, educators, and community members in order to keep kids safe from trafficking and exploitation.
Hillsborough County, Florida — As the state reopens following the coronvirus pandemic, Hillsborough County is ramping up plans for Super Bowl LV. As part of the preparations, County Commissioner Kimberly Overman led the effort to form the Commission on Human Trafficking.
WASHINGTON, DC- A former colleague of Attorney General William Barr is backing a letter from three Catholic bishops asking Barr to aggressively pursue anti-obscenity prosecutions in the wake of increased traffic to online pornography sites with the onset of COVID-19. The bishops’ letter followed a March 9 request by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska for a federal investigation into Pornhub, one of the largest online porn sites. “Pornhub’s incredible reach has a much darker side than the image of harmless fun that it tries to project,” Sasse wrote. He cited a case from last October in Florida in which the abductor of a 15-year-old girl was charged with uploading more than 60 videos of her exploitation to the site.
As COVID-19 has evolved into a global health crisis, it has plunged much of the world, and financial sector, into an economic downturn, as well as created new opportunities for criminals to infiltrate institutions and exploit those who have suffered from this pandemic.
In tandem, with individuals and families losing jobs, losing income and potentially even losing their homes or apartments, you can even argue that COVID-19 has created certain problems specific to human trafficking – opening the door for criminals to create a new class of victims because all some people have left to generate value is their corporeal forms.
These disruptions have affected human trafficking, human slavery and prostitution across the spectrum of such crimes and even potentially put young people at risk of being taken advantage of by online predators because schooling across the country and at nearly all grade levels has gone digital.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to act now, according to the bishops, because first “there are direct victims: the persons used in the productions. Many have their consent (even if technically legal) compromised by desperate circumstances while, for others, consent is completely absent.”
“The department rightly pursues human traffickers; however, virtually unchecked proliferation of pornography fuels the demand that frequently results in commercial sexual exploitation,” said the bishops. Unprecedented, unlimited, and anonymous access to pornography via modern technology has led users to seek more and more extreme videos.”
The Truckers Against Trafficking Champion Award is given to recognize and honor the creative, innovative, generous and dedicated efforts of specific TAT partners whose actions have significantly furthered TAT’s work in engaging more members of the industries TAT works with, as well as the efforts of more agencies and organizations within the state and nation, in the fight to end human trafficking and recover more survivors and prosecute more perpetrators.
“MTA member companies have trained almost 10,000 trucking industry employees in conjunction with TAT. These trained employees are acting as a watchdog on the American highways to combat this horrific crime,” said MTA President Hal Miller.
According to Kahler, who serves as the chairman of ATCC, intelligence firms and cryptocurrency organizations are partnering to raise awareness around red flags related to human trafficking. This includes sex trafficking and child abuse, both of which Kahler believes there isn’t enough focus on when it comes to gathering useful data to combat these tragic events.
TOPEKA – Five grant programs, serving victims of crime across Kansas are open for application, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Friday.
More than $2.5 million in grant funds were awarded last year from five different state programs through the office of the attorney general. Funds are used to assist local and state crime victim assistance organizations across Kansas in providing direct services to crime victims, as well as in developing prevention programs to address violence.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Human traffickers aren’t stopping despite the health threats from COVID-19—and neither will we cease our efforts to stop them. It is abhorrent that unscrupulous individuals would take advantage of the pandemic and try to lure people through the use of force, fraud or coercion for nefarious purposes when so many find themselves on hard times. We need to continue to be vigilant in our fight to combat human trafficking. Know the signs of human trafficking, and if you see something, say something
“I want to thank all of our transportation partners at the state and local level for their leadership in supporting this important initiative to help put the brakes on human trafficking,” Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason said. “Collaboration across the entire transportation industry is vital to our success in raising awareness and combating this modern-day slavery.”
“With closed businesses and empty streets, exploiters have become more violent and expanded their territory,” explains Amba Johnson, executive director of Dreamcatchers. “The ones coming to buy children are oddly indifferent to COVID, asking their victims if they have hand sanitizer and masks. The problem is Johns don’t care if they are children.”
Those that have signed on to the effort “are joining the Department to ensure that America’s transportation systems are not hijacked to facilitate human trafficking,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on May 7. “These companies are on the frontlines of helping to ensure the safety of our traveling public.” A goal of the effort is to get one million employees trained to help fight the crime, according to DOT.
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that his office, leading the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council, released Phase I of a five-year strategic plan to halt and prevent human trafficking in Texas. The Coordinating Council is the first single entity in the state to focus solely on coordinating efforts to combat human trafficking, and the strategic plan uses a multi-phased, integrative approach to eradicating and preventing this heinous crime.
The FBI child exploitation and human trafficking task force in New York is currently working on a number of cases in which victims trafficked for sex were advertised as being virus-free or willing to wear a mask and gloves.
“They’re trying to work in safety measures to ensure that customers would feel at ease to meet up with people in the ads,” FBI special agent Brian Gander told ABC News.
Co-founder of the organization says the sex trafficking numbers are up during the pandemic and the virus is making it harder to get to the women.
“The opportunities for them to get to safety is actually lower and it has created a challenge in our response. Also being able to find placement for them because just like many other medical facilities and shelters, they are overrun right now and not accepting new individuals for their own safety,” says Sarah Mckinnis, Co-Founder of Willowbend Farms
“Traffickers notoriously prey upon the vulnerability of other people. So if you have a group of people who are now even more vulnerable and are looking to make income, secure their future, and are looking to find some type of normalization; they might be more susceptible to offers or lies or tactics traffickers use to gain that person’s trust only to exploit it later for a profit,” explained Danielle Borrelli, Operations Coordinator for the California Cybersecurity Institute.
“As an organization, we know how critically important it is to still fund human trafficking prevention, especially right now,” Stevenson said. “I think that we need to find a balance between making sure people’s immediate needs are met…because something like not having food or shelter, those are vulnerabilities that can lead to trafficking.”
“As we move forward to take our next steps to better identify and support youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation, I hope agencies across the country can apply the lessons learned by L.A. County and apply them during this COVID-19 era and provide victims the services and ongoing support that they need,” said Michelle Guymon, who founded and leads the CTU.
After large scale investigation of human trafficking in Sutton, Nebraska a man has been arrested. A 58-year-old man was arrested in Clay County on charges of sex trafficking of a minor, child abuse, three counts of pandering, and two counts of solicitation. Cloet was lodged in Clay County Jail.
A man from Mooresville, North Carolina has been arrested of sending explicit photos and arranging to pay for sex acts with an undercover officer he believed was a 15-year-old girl. His bond has been set for $50,000. He has been charged with charged with solicitation of a child by computer, solicitation of a minor for prostitution, dissemination obscene material and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a federal judge is allowing a sex trafficking plaintiff to continue with claims against the hotel franchise Marriott. The claim states that the three hotels in Philadelphia failed to stop activities. The federal judge denied the hotels efforts to dismiss the claim
A central Florida attorney is accused of operating a human trafficking ring out of his Melbourne home. He trafficked young girls as young as 15. He said they needed to pay off legal fees and rent for staying at his home. He was recently arrested when he was going to pay a 16 year old girl to have sex with him, and try to recruit the girl to live with him at his home. He is facing charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and human trafficking of a minor.
A sex trafficker survivor from Ohio will be released from prison. “She will be sent to a group home and she will be under supervision for an extensive period of time. When the victim was 15 years-old she planned the murder of the trafficker. When she was 17, she received a sentence for 21 years. Ohio’s Supreme Court chief justice knew that he had forced her into sex trafficking but kept her sentence.
he mayor of Houston, Texas and the city council approved the Hotel ordinance to combat human trafficking. The ordinance requires hotels to train employees on human trafficking. Houston is the first major US city to have an ordinance. It requires them to train employees in human trafficking and in labor trafficking. The ordinance prohibits retaliation against employees that report tips.
Two residents in Reno, Nevada have pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sex trafficking. The man and woman that were charged orchestrated the sexual exploitation of a child last summer. The investigation was led by the FBI’s Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. The hearing is set for June 3rd.
In Tampa, Florida experts believe sex trafficking is not slowing down even with the pandemic of COVID-19. In fact Connie Rose who is the executive director of Victims to Survivors thinks that it is actually growing from this virus. Since predators are able to spend more time online luring and grooming children especially those who are in poor living conditions with family instability
Austin, TX. Advocates say the pandemic has made it harder for victims of human trafficking and other types of abuse to leave dangerous situations. Korin Arkin who manages the National Human Trafficking Hotline’s call response says economic instability breeds the type of vulnerability that sex and labor traffickers prey on.
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.