According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Merritt was selling marijuana to a 13-year-old in exchange for sexual acts. Investigators say Merritt raped and sodomized the victim multiple times.
While being interviewed, Merritt allegedly admitted that he had a thriving drug operation that targeted teens between the ages of 13 and 16 years old.
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.
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.
Lt. Marcus Dennard told FOX 5, “Upon searching the house there were males found and two other females.”
Police said the girl and woman were victims of sex trafficking. The suspect, Eron McCrary, is facing several charges including human trafficking, pimping, child pornography, aggravated sexual battery and rape in the case.
According to Lt. Dennard, the victims told detectives they were being held against their will, and forced to engage in sexual acts with other men at a motel on Old National Highway and other locations in south Fulton County.
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.
Izaak Shaquilie Blocker, 24, is booked into the Multnomah County Jail on 65 charges, including ten counts of rape, nine counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, and four counts of compelling prostitution.
Izaak Shaquilie Blocker is accused of forcing an underage girl into prostitution, as well as physically assaulting, strangling and raping her himself, according to the indictment. A grand jury also indicted Blocker on charges related to allegations of taking sexually explicit photos of her, giving her cocaine and a tattoo without a parent’s consent.
A day after a 29-year-old Vallejo resident was reported missing Solano County sheriff’s deputies rescued the woman, said to have been a victim of human trafficking.
The woman’s mother filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, saying she’d been missing for a week.
On Wednesday, investigators learned she was a victim of human trafficking, officials said.
Her image was reportedly posted on a human trafficking website. In partnership with Vacaville police detectives, and FBI task force officer, sheriff’s resident deputy and the Sheriff’s Enforcement Team, investigators managed to contact the woman and set up a meeting.
SOUTH FULTON, Ga. (AP) — Police in Georgia say they discovered a sex trafficking operation after chasing suspects who ran from a stolen U-Haul into an abandoned house.
The City of South Fulton Police Department says officers found two adult women and one juvenile after entering the house on Thursday.
Police say investigators learned that the girl and one of the women had been forced into sex trafficking.
Andre Gomez, 41, was booked into the Weber County Jail on Saturday and made his first appearance in 2nd District Court on Monday.
David Anthony Mackey, 42, Chandra Jones, 35, and Gomez trafficked two 17-year-old girls they recruited in Salt Lake City before setting up in an Ogden hotel, the Utah Attorney General’s Office alleged in charging documents unsealed by the court in late March.
A stolen U-Haul led South Fulton police to a child sex trafficking and ecstasy selling operation Wednesday, leading to three arrests and two victims being “saved from a life of misery,” authorities said.
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
“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.”
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.
“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.”
L.A., California- Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for underage youth has not waivered and the Los Angeles County Probation Department continues to be at the forefront battling the recent increase of cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children, or CSEC.
Washington, DC – President Donald J. Trump today announced that the White House will enact the top public policy priority of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking by expanding the Domestic Policy Council to include an office to focus on combatting domestic human trafficking.
Co-Founders Kevin Malone and Geoffrey Rogers.
From Washington, DC – President Donald J. Trump today announced that the White House will enact the top public policy priority of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking by expanding the Domestic Policy Council to include an office to focus on combatting domestic human trafficking. The United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), a ministry dedicated and committed to ending the atrocity of sex slavery of minors in American cities, communities, and neighborhoods, and which opened the first safe home in the United States for trafficked boys.