Category: States

U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking/Serrano McGuire Law Firm To Disrupt Sex Trafficking Operations During Super Bowl LV

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.”

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22 arrested in undercover Tampa Bay human trafficking bust

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.

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Sex Traffickers Target ‘Vulnerable’ Young Girls During COVID-19: Police

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.

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KEEPING OUR OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE IN THE FIGHT TO END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

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.

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Summit County undercover investigation busts human trafficking operation

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.

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CEO of Newport Beach food company, 59, QUITS after being charged with child prostitution ‘for having sex with two teenage girls’

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.’

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High-Risk Child Sex Offender Among 27-Arrested in Sun City Center Contractor Sting

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.

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Two charged with human trafficking after Hudson massage parlor bust

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.

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Five human trafficking victims rescued, 46 arrests made in massive Houston-wide sting operation

“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.

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Man jailed for running sex trafficking ring out of parents home

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.

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San Gabriel Valley Woman Faces Federal Charges of Running Sex Trafficking Operation that Targeted Immigrant Women

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.

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RCAHT Task Force Solicitation of Prostitution Sex-Trafficking Sweep Arrests 13

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.

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Curtis, Scanlon introduce legislation to renew anti-human trafficking council

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.”

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In Georgia visit, feds announce $100M to fight 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.

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Convicted Sex Trafficker Brian Folks Sentenced to Over 22 Years in Prison

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.

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Ivanka Trump, Attorney General Barr visiting Atlanta to discuss fight against human trafficking

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.”

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2 Dallas men arrested for sex trafficking in connection to 13-year-old rescued from Irving hotel last November

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.

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Two Prattville women busted for allegedly facilitating sexual encounters for money at Montgomery hotel

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.

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U.S. Marshals Service Reveals Majority of Rescued Sex-Trafficked Children Came From Foster Care

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.

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Former Maricopa County Sheriff’s detective arrested during child sexual exploitation, sex trafficking sting operation

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.

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W. Va. Attorney General supports legislation to protect children from abduction, sex trafficking

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.

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18 arrests for trying to lure victims for underage sex

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.

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US Marshals rescue 8 ‘highly endangered’ missing children in Indiana during ‘Operation Homecoming’

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.

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U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking Statement On California Bill To Protect Pedophiles: Organization Calls For Governor Newsom to Veto SB 145

Kevin Malone, Chairman of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, issued the following statement following passage of Senate Bill 145 in the California Assembly to remove the requirement that adults convicted of having sex with a teenager between the ages 14 to 17 must register as a sex-offender.

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Man charged in Great Falls with promotion of prostitution involving a minor

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.

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3 Arrests at Clearwater Motel In Child Sex Trafficking Sting

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.

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Mesa police arrest 8 in undercover child sex crime operation

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.

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U.S. Marshals recover 39 missing children in Georgia operation

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.

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15-year-old was ‘passed off’ to men in sex-trafficking case, Kentucky police say

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.

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Three indicted for human trafficking and prostitution

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
-Compelling Prostitution

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GBI creates HEAT with hopes of stopping human trafficking in Ga

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.

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Private Investigator: Sex trafficking surging during pandemic

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.

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Firefighter, former police officer among 17 arrested in Flint-area sex-trafficking sting

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said at a Wednesday, Aug. 19, press conference that Matthew J. Hyde, 40 believed he was speaking to two 14-year-old girls who really were sheriff’s deputies acting as “chatters.” “He had a 15-minute phone call with one of our decoys,” noted Swanson. “In his truck when he was arrested, he had two loaded firearms, a police ID, a police badge of which he was not associated with.” Hyde also previously worked as an officer for the Mt. Morris Police Department, Clayton Township Police Department, as well as a Genesee County Parks ranger.

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Morris Prosecutor: West Orange Man Charged with Human Trafficking at Parsippany Hotel

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker and Parsippany Police Chief Andrew Miller announce the arrest of Mcquacy Goodridge, 28, of West Orange, NJ. Goodridge has been charged with four counts of Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Promoting Prostitution, Criminal Coercion, and Terroristic Threats.

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17 arrested in child-trafficking sweep in Genesee County

GENESEE COUNTY, MI – A law enforcement operation targeting child traffickers led to the arrest of 17 people. Over the course of five months, Swanson said that a team in his department known as GHOST – the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team – had set up six stings, during which law enforcement agents posed as 13, 14, and 15-year-old children on social media sites.

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28-Year-Old Man Charged with Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Promoting Prostitution, Criminal Coercion & Terroristic Threats

Morris County, NJ. Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker and Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department Chief Andrew Miller, announce the arrest of Mcquacy Goodridge, 28, West Orange. Goodridge has been charged with four counts of Human Trafficking, in violation of N.J.S.A.

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How We Should #SaveTheChildren & Stop Child Trafficking Now

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.

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Lancaster County Human Trafficker Sentenced to Up To 141 Years

LANCASTER, PA — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Barry Schiff was sentenced to 55-141 years in prison on charges of human trafficking and related offenses. “Schiff deliberately chose vulnerable victims—women and girls who were marginalized members of their communities– and sexually, physically, and emotionally abused them. These women and girls endured dehumanizing exploitation by countless people.

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Rape Crisis Center assists 72 human trafficking victims in first six months of 2020

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Rape Crisis Center (RCC), which serves all of Clark County, launched its Resources and Integration for Survivor Empowerment or RISE program in January and assisted 72 human trafficking victims through the first six months of 2020.
Of the 72 victims served by the RCC, 58 were sex trafficking victims and 33 were labor trafficking victims, with some clients experiencing both forms of exploitation.

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Human trafficker gets de facto life sentence; police in York County discovered prostitution ring

A human trafficker who used violence, threats and heroin addiction to force “marginalized” women to prostitute themselves — including in York County — has received a de facto life sentence for his crimes.
Barry “Bear” Schiff, 53, and co-defendant Kenneth Crowell, 36, coerced 10 women into prostitution, held them hostage, forced them to sell their bodies and made them turn over their earnings, a Lancaster County jury previously found.

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Federal jury finds Lincoln man guilty of sex trafficking 2 teens, making child porn

A federal jury has found a 33-year-old Lincoln man guilty of sex trafficking two teenage girls, taking them to Colorado and Iowa to have sex for money.
Devin L. Ashford has been set for sentencing in November on charges of sex trafficking of a minor; production of child pornography; sex trafficking by means of force, threat, fraud or coercion; and interstate travel for prostitution.

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COURT: Two Columbus runaways become victims in sex trafficking ring

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – New details in the events leading up to the arrest of three Columbus men were released when two of them made their first court appearance.
All three men are charged with sex trafficking among other things. Two of the trio, 23-year-old Zachary Bailey and 21-year-old Rashid Rush faced their charges in a Muscogee County Courtroom. 23-year-old Roy Bailey is scheduled to appear Thursday, Aug. 13.
Court testimony revealed that a 15-year-old and 16-year-old were reported missing in March. Interviews with those juveniles and an investigation found that while their families believed they were missing, they were being utilized in sex trafficking.

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Pontiac man accused of operating large human trafficking ring around Oakland County

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – A Pontiac man is facing seven charges accusing him of operating a large human trafficking ring in several Oakland County communities.
The allegations against 23-year-old Dallas Ephraim Jordan-King include prostitution and sex trafficking numerous young women in Auburn, Pontiac and elsewhere in the county, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

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National organization sees ‘explosion’ of CyberTipline reports about child exploitation

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.

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‘Save the Children’ flash rally brings awareness to human trafficking

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.”

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Utah man arrested for child sex trafficking via Twitter, Tumblr

(KUTV) — A Kearns, Utah man is facing child sex trafficking charges — accused of forming a relationship with a young teen, and using that relationship to victimize the girl to make money.
According to charging documents, Craig Thomas Defa, 27, met the girl when she was 14 and he was 22, back in 2015. Two weeks into their relationship, it became sexual.

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Pandemic closures raise child sex trafficking concerns

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.”

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‘Dangerous, degrading and dehumanizing:’ Prosecutors say men lured vulnerable teens and women into sex work on D.C. streets

Months after a federal jury found a man guilty of sex trafficking and forcing women to prostitute in the Logan Circle and Shaw neighborhoods, authorities have arrested another suspect in connection with the case.
The latest arrest occurred Aug. 2, when members of the federal Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force — which includes officers from the District — took Anthony Gray, 37, of Clinton, Md., into custody.

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Trump says human trafficking increased during pandemic, announces $35M grant to aid victims

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.”

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Police Charge Alleged MS-13 Members With Trafficking Teen

Charges were unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria. A 48-page FBI affidavit says the 13-year-old girl ran away from a group home in Fairfax in August 2018 with a 16-year-old friend who was connected to MS-13.A child trafficking task force found the 13-year-old girl nearly two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland.
The girl, initially reluctant to talk to police, eventually told authorities she was twice beaten on her backside and legs 26 times on two separate occasions with a baseball bat — once as an initiation to the gang, and once as a punishment for talking to rival gang members and allegedly stealing from fellow gang members.

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15 arrested in California child sex sting – including highway patrol officer, prison employee

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Detectives arrested 15 people, including a California Highway Patrol officer and a prison employee, after they allegedly tried to meet minors to engage in sex acts.
Kern County Sheriff’s Office investigators posed as children online to meet the suspected predators, who ranged in age from 21 to 54 years old.
“The detectives received numerous correspondence from child predators, who agreed to meet in order to engage in lewd acts with a child,” a sheriff’s release said. “Undercover detectives subsequently arrested the suspects when they arrived at the meeting location, while others were arrested at their homes.”

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Columbia police arrest 7 in child exploitation, human trafficking sting

COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) – The Columbia Police Department arrested seven people and are investigating others after a weekend child exploitation and human trafficking operation.
Operation Dollhouse was conducted Friday by the CPD’s Major Crimes Division and Crime Suppression Team after weeks of preparation and partnerships with multiple non-government organizations that provided logistics, victim services, a state-of-the-art command center, surveillance, subject matter experts and evidence retrieval.

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Judge refuses to lower bond on man accused of trafficking women for sex out of massage parlor

A Sioux Falls man charged with pimping and prostitution and accused of trafficking women for sex out of a massage parlor in the area was held in jail on bond Monday.
Willie Charles Whitman, 47, was charged in July with pimping or renting for prostitution and practicing massage without a license after police conducted a weeks-long sting investigation into a massage service.

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Trump Gives $35 Million to Aid Human Trafficking Victims

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.

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Mason man charged with human trafficking, sexual assault of teenager

MASON, MI — A Mason man is facing human trafficking and sexual assault charges after a girl told police he made her produce child porn, according to court records.
The girl, who was younger than 16, told officials at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services she had been sexually assaulted by Devin Vasquez, 19, Lansing Police Detective Jason Pung testified in hearing that led to criminal charges.

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Freedom Youth NYC Calls Out Silence on Sex Trafficking

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.

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Texas has a strong record against sex trafficking, but Congress has work to do

Fort Worth, Texas– In 2019, U.S. prosecutions under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 declined for the second year in a row. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, are demonstrating strong bi-partisan commitment to passing stronger federal legislation to improve victims’ services and strengthen law enforcement response to human trafficking.

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Man sentenced to 14 years for sex trafficking, drug distribution to minor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Chico man to 14 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor and distribution of meth to a person under 21, according to the U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott. According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial, in July and August 2017, 25-year-old Christopher Ramonaguilar Lawrence, of Chico, recruited a then 17-year-old girl to engage in prostitution for his financial benefit.

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Trafficker sentenced for forcing undocumented immigrants to work on Ohio farms

Toledo, Ohio — Pablo Ramirez was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $70,000 fine in a trafficking-related case. “Ramirez exploited the desperation of migrant workers and, in some instances, their children for his own personal financial gain,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “Human trafficking can take many forms, and this sentence reflects the Justice Department’s commitment to combat this plague in every shape it takes.”

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Ohio man gets 42 years in prison for sex trafficking 14-year-old girl

Lima, Ohio — Man sentenced to nearly 42 years for sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl. As part of his sentence, Cochran will pay full restitution to the victim and others impacted by the crimes. “While unthinkable to most of us, sex trafficking of children is real and organized,” said David M. DeVillers, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus. “We must recognize the unthinkable and report suspicious activity for the sake of our most vulnerable”.

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Feds rescue 13-year-old girl and takedown online successor to Backpage

Dallas, Texas — U.S. Atty Erin Nealy Cox announced the seizure of the “online successor to Backpage”, a website that has facilitated many cases of youth trafficking. “DOJ didn’t stop with Backpage, and we’re not going to stop with CityXGuide,” Nealy Cox said as she assessed what’s in store for the North Texas Trafficking Task Force. “If you are going to facilitate exploitation online, we’re not going to hesitate to seize your site and bring charges against you.”

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Kentucky State Police Charge Man With Child Sexual Exploitation Offenses

Franklin County, KY — On June 24, 2020, the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch arrested Tim Riggs, 63, on charges related to child sexual abuse material. Riggs was arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigation. The investigation was initiated after discovering the suspect distributing and possessing prepubescent child sexual abuse material online.

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Multiple people indicted on charges related to human trafficking operation in Scioto County

Scioto County, Ohio – A federal grand jury has indicted a Scioto County man and several of his family members and associates with charges related to a child sex trafficking operation. According to United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David M. DeVillers, the man allegedly exchanged drugs obtained in Columbus and elsewhere for sexual access to the children of drug-addicted mothers. The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force agents began investigating Larry Dean Porter, 69, in April 2019.

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Likely trafficking survivor released on bond in homicide case

Kenosha County, WI — Chrystul Kizer is out of custody after a Chicago-based aid organization posted her $400,000 bond. Kizer, 19, was released from Kenosha County Jail on Monday afternoon. She has been in custody for two years, awaiting trial for the June 2018 shooting death of a man prosecutors admit had been sexually assaulting Kizer and other underage girls.

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Human trafficking bills wind through Georgia legislature

Atlanta, Georgia– The Georgia Senate passed legislation Thursday that would punish convicted human traffickers who transport victims via commercial vehicles by banning them from obtaining a commercial driver’s license. House Bill 823, by Rep. Houston Gaines, would impose a lifetime ban on driving a commercial vehicle for persons convicted of human trafficking-related offenses.

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More work needed to combat human trafficking along I-85, Lee County

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.”

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