The war against sex trafficking is going high tech and the Tampa based U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking in Tampa has picked social media as its weapon of choice when it comes to deterring sex buyers. Natalie Kehn, who works on outreach for the group, said the nonprofit combs through thousands of online sex ads and messages potential trafficking victims.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) branches in Tampa and Atlanta launched human trafficking awareness outreach campaigns in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Girls can be as young as 12 when their “boyfriends” lure them into a life of sex trafficking. Traffickers ply their victims with drugs to encourage addiction, rendering them dependent, compliant and numbed. They force their victims to sell themselves many times a day. And victims’ troubles do not end there.
“There’s not much of it that goes on that doesn’t involve a hotel at one point or another,” said Jensen. “I mentioned that I had only had a couple experiences with this in my 45 years of managing hotels, but that could be because I was naive.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Detroit, MI. 70-year-old Richard Knider Jackson of Detroit was convicted on charges of sex trafficking using force and coercion, distribution of controlled substances and maintaining a drug premises.
“Most people think of it as an overseas problem. But the reality is we have a major, major issue here in America inside of our own borders – with our own kids,” Florida based film’s executive producer, Geoffrey Rogers, told Crosswalk. “We would estimate over 100,000 kids in America are being trafficked for sex every single day here in our own country.”
“It’s like branding cattle,” said Cpl. Alan Wilkett, who leads Pasco County, Florida’s human trafficking task force. “It’s an ownership mark. Branding is when somebody — a pimp or a trafficker — will put his mark or his symbol or his sign on his victims through some sort of tattoo.”
Investigators say Milwaukee, WI. Theodore Givings, 35, was trying to recruit the girl for prostitution and was already trafficking another victim, a woman who was working for him in exchange for cocaine.
Police arrested Scott Truett of Wichita, Kan. last month for aggravated human trafficking and sexual exploitation of a child. Police say Truett’s arrest comes from the investigation involving a Wichita runaway, found last month.
“It’s the same reaction as it was 13 years ago where 90 percent of the audience still has no idea that this happens, and it’s really sad because I work my butt off as well as every one of these agencies and I see hundreds of survivors and there’s still a majority of people that have no idea it happens here,” Flores said.
“From back three years ago, our caseload has tripled,” said Erika Pineros, with Catholic Charities anti-human trafficking program. “It’s like a taboo subject at times and it shouldn’t be because unfortunately it is happening and the most vulnerable population are minors.”
The city’s authorities are training hotel workers, security guards, Uber drivers and truckers to spot the signs that a person might be a victim of trafficking, since these are the people most likely to cross paths with them and have a chance to alert police.
Jarrell and Kobel of Crawford County, MI. were arrested for human trafficking. Jarrell is charged with two counts criminal sexual conduct first degree (during felony), both felonies punishable by life, one count unlawful imprisonment, a felony punishable by 15 years and/or $20,000, and habitual offender fourth offense.
In 2018 in Minnesota, the National Human Trafficking Hotline was contacted 314 times and 120 human trafficking cases were reported, according to the hotline website. Anderson said Elk River’s proximity to the highways makes it likely that there is trafficking activity in and around the city.
“The fact that this brothel was active in two cities, in bustling shopping centers open to the public, and in broad daylight is a testament of what these traffickers will do for money,” said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput in a written statement. “Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases to achieve justice for the victims with no voice.”
Last year South Carolina was recognized as the most improved state combating human trafficking by Shared Hope International. Shared Hope International releases a report card each year regarding the status of each state.
While jailed in Austin, TX. Robbie Ann Hamilton asked God to help her quit drugs and to get out of that life. After participating in groups like Alchoholics Anonymous and New Friends New Life in rehab, she turned it around, committing her life to helping homeless addicts.
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and O’Malley said the “Take the Pledge” campaign is a good way to start the new decade with action aimed at stopping both commercial sexual exploitation and commercial labor exploitation.
The sad truth is, many of those teenagers in the U.S., both boys and girls, who are walking the big city streets were, not too long ago, small town daughters and sons loved by their families, their schools and their communities, but caught in a confused time, rebellious.
Hillsborough County, FL. Court documents show 40-year-old Rudy Siam made a 14-year-old friend on the Grindr app. But the conversation quickly turns explicit. What Siam doesn’t know is he’s actually texting an undercover Hillsborough County deputy.The purpose of the operation was to find “offenders who use the internet and social media to sexually exploit children,” according to the documents. The two apps they used were Grindr and Whisper.
North Las Vegas, NV resident Jacques Anton Lanier, known as John Dupree, made an initial court appearance Tuesday, Jan. 7, after being charged on 15 counts of child sex trafficking, tampering with a witness and other crimes.
In order to be designated as such a zone, there are three steps the city must take: passing a proclamation declaring the city to be a Human TraffickingFree Zone, undergoing training for city personnel, in particular first responders, as well as businesses in the city, and lastly, a zero tolerance policy for city employees caught purchasing sex at work. The program is managed at the local level by the project, but is an initiative of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.
Houston, TX. lawyer Annie McAdams is part of team of attorneys that sued three major hotel chains this month on behalf of three sex trafficking victims in Houston. Prosecutors say one of the victims was 15 at the time a pimp drugged her and kept her working for a week at a Comfort Inn near the Southwest Freeway.
The man who was originally charged in the case, 36-year-old Rusty D. Reuille of Michigan City, fatally shot himself as La Porte County Police attempted to arrest him just days after Cannon’s arrest, authorities said at the time
Beltran was found guilty by a Worcester, MA. Superior Court jury last year of human trafficking and deriving support from a prostitute. Judge Daniel Wrenn sentenced Beltran to 6 to 8 years on the human trafficking charge and 4 to 5 years for the deriving support from a prostitute charge. The sentences run concurrently.
In 2012, she announced an aggressive initiative to make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking and modern-day slavery. From there, she forged partnerships with private businesses, community organizations and the Florida Legislature to raise awareness, teach how to spot the signs of human trafficking and pass legislation to strengthen laws.
38-year-old Kellie Cannon was convicted of aiding, inducing or causing child molesting and trafficking of a minor. A man charged in the case, Rusty Reuille, killed himself when officers showed up at his home with a warrant for his arrest back in May of 2018.
Investigators said Gary Ballard is accused of driving the woman to a gentleman’s club then beating her. They said Ballard also forced her to dance for money, then he took her money and wouldn’t allow her to leave or get in touch with her family.
The Metropolitan Police Department has a human trafficking task force that includes the department’s vice unit; law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels; Refuge for Women, the Rape Crisis Center, Seeds of Hope and a network of survivors who meet monthly to discuss how best to assist human trafficking survivors in the valley.
“K.B.’s trafficker would give her to other traffickers who bought, sold and required her to sexually service paying strangers as she endured brutal physical assaults, psychological torment, verbal abuse, and false imprisonment at the defendant’s hotels as the defendants did nothing but profit from her exploitation,” the suit alleges.
15-year-old Olivia Durphy of Winchester, KY. said “I’m so blessed I don’t need anything and there are so many people, brothers and sisters of mine through Christ, who need stuff so much more than me,”. This year, she asked her mom to take the money she would use to buy her gifts and give it all to ‘Buy a tree, this year, a non-profit helping children around the world, through an annual Christmas tree sale.
Stockton, which has become known as a hub for human trafficking in recent years, will be getting more than half a million dollars from a federal grant to help human trafficking survivors in the area find a safe haven.
32-year-old Lorenza Jenkins Monday on charges from Wake County.According to a warrant from the Raleigh Police Department, Jenkins is accused of holding a 17-year-old in sexual servitude and profiting from the prostitution of that teenager between May and June 2019. Officers said the girl was found unharmed at a hotel on South Wilmington Street.
“This happens to men too,” she said. “I’m working with a man who was taken to Texas. He was held in a pen and had to sleep near the animals. He was fed about every three days. He finally made it back home to his family. Now he’s getting the help he needs.”
The presentation will provide a basic understanding of human trafficking and how to identify a trafficking victim. The presenter, FBI Agent Carrie Landau, will discuss the psychology behind human trafficking, how traffickers gain and maintain their control and trends in recruiting.
Inside the car, police found Jennifer Johnson, 40, of Portland, Tyler Ford, 29, of Gresham, and a 15-year-old girl who was reported missing out of the Portland,OR. area. Investigators believe she was being groomed for working in the commercial sex trade.
A 37-year-old man has pled no contest in a human trafficking case out of Oakland, CA. The victim was a 14-year-old girl. It’s one victory in a never-ending war against the sexual exploitation of young people.
In Dupont, Wash. Four people are facing human trafficking and sexual abuse of a minor charges after a sting operation in Pierce County. “The safety of our children and citizens is our number one priority, and we want to send a message to anyone who is thinking of victimizing the innocent: Don’t come to DuPont to hurt our kids or our community.”
Deputies believe that Kendell Morris of Stockton, CA. had recruited the victims, groomed them to work in the sex trade with Kaylyn Melendez and Carelli Barajas are being held at the Orange County Women’s Central Jail in place of $70,000 and $75,000 bail. Morris is in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.
New York Senator Alessandra Biaggi noted that “human-traffickers rely heavily on public transportation to move their victims, in plain sight, across the country.” In his veto memo, Cuomo noted that the New York Interagency Task Force Against Human Trafficking already offers a training that “meets the minimum requirements” outlined in Biaggi’s bill.
The Convergence Resource Center, a faith-based nonprofit organization, offers support to men and women who have experience trauma. The goal is to help them rebuild their lives and there’s a specific focus on helping women and female survivors of human trafficking.
“I never heard from her again. She only had a week left to go before her bed opened up, but the two weeks she toughed it out waiting on the street kept her in harm’s reach,” says Saylor of San Diego, CA. who is a survivor of human trafficking.
On Friday, Detroit, MI. police announced 31 felonies and 72 misdemeanors have been handed down from phase two of the operation. The 46 people taken into custody range in age from 25 to 60 years old, Dwyer said. He also said the prostitutes range in age from 18 to 60 years old.
A 53-year-old man of Salt Lake City, UT. has been sentenced to the maximum possible sentencing on each of eight counts of human trafficking-related charges. Including, Four terms of five years up to life in prison
* One term of fifteen years up to life in prison *Two terms of one year to fifteen years in prison *One term of zero to five years in prison
Lawyers in Columbus, OH. representing human trafficking victims want a single federal judge to oversee multiple lawsuits alleging that major hotel chains have ignored human trafficking taking place on their premises.
Metal cuffs strained against her ankles as she shuffled down the courthouse hallway of Kenosha, Wis.. She passed her mother, who had grown used to seeing her teen daughter in a jail uniform. She passed the activists, who saw her as a victim of child sex trafficking.
Abiodun “Abi” Adeleke, 33, of Kings Park, NY. was convicted by a jury of two counts of sex trafficking as a class B violent felony, three counts of sex trafficking as a class B felony, third-degree promoting prostitution (a D felony) and third-degree assault (a class A misdemeanor).
Investigators said they responded to reports of human trafficking on Dockery Court near Rev Henry Drive in early December, where they found a 22-year-old female victim. The victim told police she was forced into human trafficking by 32-year-old Saint Marques Taylor of Stockton, CA.
James Stewart, 39 of Albuquerque, N.M. has been charged with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13, a fourth-degree felony that carries a maximum of 24 years in prison, according to the indictment filed in District Court. Stewart and his wife, Terri Sanchez were originally arrested on human trafficking charges in spring 2018.
With Superbowl LIV less than 2 months away, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced today in West Palm Beach that Florida will not tolerate human trafficking and she’s asking for the public’s assistance in identifying it.
The girl was rescued from a hotel by detectives with the Phoenix, AZ. Police Department’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit (H.E.A.T). She told authorities that Hood had been trafficking her for months.
For months, she was forced into the sex trade by one of the most dangerous traffickers in the state, if not the country. Karla Solomon barely survived months of torture and what is known as modern slavery. Now that she’s safe, she has dedicated her life to telling her devastating but important story in hopes of saving others from the terrors of sex trafficking.
The goal of the operation, Polk County, FL. Sheriff Grady Judd said, was to “identify victims of human trafficking and those who prey on victims, as well as the deviant child predators who stalk children online.”
According to the U.S Institute Against Human Trafficking, “The (TFZ) Trafficking Free Zone program is a community-based initiative to reduce the number of buyers, whose continuous financial investments create an illicit market for traffickers to exploit young victims in Alabama.
The six-day sting targeted prostitution, human trafficking and child predators – busting 124 people. The charges included: solicitation, using a computer to lure a child and traveling to meet a minor for sex. , Sheriff Judd of Polk County, FL. explained counselors were immediately available for those who appeared to be human trafficking victims.
The Trafficking Free Zone is a nation-wide program of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking and local anti-trafficking coalition, the Child Trafficking Solutions Project, an initiative of Alabama’s Children’s Policy Council and the Jefferson Family Court.
The victim, a 20-year-old woman from Los Angeles County, CA. was treated for injuries and said she was assaulted by 38-year-old Sethtaniel Tyrece. Davis was involved with trafficking the woman, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.
Benito Rodriguez Bravo, 34, of Santa Barbara County, CA. was booked on suspicion of several felonies: arranging a meeting with a minor, human trafficking of a minor, contacting a minor with intent for sex, sending harmful material to a minor with attempt to seduce, attempting to commit crime, and pandering.
undercover investigators in Eads identified 27-year-old Luis Hernandez of Fountain, CO. Hernandez was arrested and taken to the Bent County Detention Facility, where he is being held without bond. He faces charges of Human trafficking – Sexual Servitude, Felony Eluding, and Reckless Driving.
She believes that parents need to be direct in addressing these issues so that children are not oblivious to what is going on around them. Having a daughter of her own, Jacquelyn Grant encourages parents to have open and honest conversations with their child because kidnapping and trafficking are, unfortunately, a harsh reality.
Weeks after a human trafficking sting netted more than 100 arrests in Hillsborough County, FL. commissioners took a step Wednesday to eradicate forced labor, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation within its borders.
According to court documents, FBI and OKCPD investigators determined that Rolando Cifuentes-Lopez of Oklahoma City, OK. owned the trailer where the two minors lived and threatened to evict their family if they did not comply with requests for sex. If found guilty of child sex trafficking, each defendant faces a mandatory punishment of at least ten years and up to life in prison.
The arresting trooper found that Jackson is wanted out of Harris County, TX. for sexual assault of a child, compelling prostitution, and promotion of prostitution and trafficking of a person.
Jail records show Jackson is held on $55,000 bond for the drug charges, but no bond is set for the human trafficking and prostitution charges.
“As I kept hearing the stories—after they have been gone for days—it started adding up like this was a plot,” said Ms. Cleveland, who runs a group called It’s On Me 2. “Someone knew what they were doing in order to get these girls.”
Alabama recently received an A on its “report card” from Shared Hope International (SHI) for the state’s positive response to the issue of human sex trafficking. Its overall score landed Alabama at the sixth position in the country; neighboring Tennessee took the top spot.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery and it’s happening across the U.S., including in Maryland. Baltimore is considered a hub as it’s along the I-95 corridor which is used by traffickers to move victims across state lines easily
A 17-year-old girl walked into the lobby of a Ventura, CA, hotel and told the front desk manager she was being held against her will by a man and a woman, Elijah Tucker, 22, and Davisha Sweat, 25, and forced into prostitution.
A former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer Kirk Hooten, 51, told detectives he used to work for vice and that he still “cat-called” women in the area to see their reactions. He said he regularly visited the intersection to hire sex workers.
Jaimian Sims, 27, of Houston, TX, trafficked multiple victims. Sims is a member of a rap group and in videos he rapped that he sells “white women” and bragged about his success as a “pimp,” prosecutors said.
At Monday night’s council meeting in Vestavia Hills, AL, Mayor Ashley Curry signed a proclamation – an initiative of U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking that will require all city staff to be trained on how to spot sex trafficking.
In its 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, the US State Department said that despite its global reach, human trafficking takes place locally — “in a favorite nail salon or restaurant; in a neighborhood home or popular hotel; on a city street or rural farm” But four recent high profiles cases of human trafficking and commercialized sex have laid bare the growing problem in big cities and far corners of the US.
Michael Thomas Bovino, 38, of Mooresville, NC, and nine others were arrested in an online child exploitation investigation involving 13 state and federal law enforcement agencies across North and South Carolina.
One of the victims told investigators with the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force that she was being sold for sex by 39-year-old Joseph Troy Horton. She also stated he was selling a second woman for sex too.
The ringleader of the group, Samuel Lee Edwards, 49, of Columbus, OH, and his associates would use narcotics to manipulate and control their victims, who were threatened and assaulted if they did not comply with demands. The associates assisted with transporting, recruiting and supervising the women, as well as drug trafficking.
A grant to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will fund a multidisciplinary task force composed of law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and several victim service organizations. Funds will also support direct victim services provided under the auspices of the Georgia Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking.