Category: Pennsylvania

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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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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As Children Spend More Time Online, Predators Follow

WSJ SPECIAL REPORT– Jennifer Gross had warned her 12-year-old daughter about the potential dangers of socializing with strangers online, but said the message had often fallen on deaf ears. Now the preteen understands the concern. Since mid-March, the daughter has received several flirtatious messages from accounts that appeared to be from adult men on Instagram, Mrs. Gross said.

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Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to manufacturing child pornography

PHILADELPHIA — On May 19, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced that a man pleaded guilty to charges of manufacturing and attempted manufacturing of child pornography. These charges arose from the defendant’s sexual abuse of an infant and his videotaping of that abuse. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 200 years’ imprisonment and a mandatory minimum term of 15 years.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 19,000 individuals for crimes against children

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Human trafficking victims: Altoona is a hot spot

Altoona, Pennsylvania is a hot spring for human trafficking. Every two minutes, a child is exploited in the sex industry. 300,00 children are sold every year. The month of January is human trafficking awareness month and in Altoona, they have red sand covering sidewalks to raise awareness. The Red Sandy Project is a national movement that symbolizes people “who fall through the cracks of society”. People don’t know human trafficking is happening because they are not aware of the red flags. In 2018 police arrested two people in the first case of human trafficking in this region. Both face 40 charges. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you notice red flags.

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South Jersey men forced women into their sex trafficking ring for years, jury finds

Two South Jersey men, Barry “Bear” Schiff, 52, of Galloway, and Kenneth J. Crowell, 35, of Blackwood, ran an organized sex trafficking ring stretching into Pennsylvania, coercing and forcing six young women into sex work and collecting the profits. One victim told police that Schiff threatened to “chop her up into little pieces and throw her in the river” when she said she didn’t want to work for him anymore.

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Advocates in State College Urge Education and Training on Human Trafficking “In Your Backyard” At Summit

In 2018, 127 cases of human trafficking were reported in Pennsylvania, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. At the 2019 Rural Human Trafficking Summit hosted by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health at Penn State Tuesday, advocates said that to target and stop trafficking, the public needs to first recognize the situation.

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Suspect in prostitution bust charged with child abuse

A woman arrested in Allentown last week on prostitution charges is also facing accusastions in a three-year-old child abuse case.
Allentown police arrested Lisette M. Mercado at a Super 8 motel last Friday during a prostitution sting. Authorities discovered an arrest warrant issued by the Easton Police Department in March 2016 against the 26-year-old, who was accused of drunkenly punching her 2-year-old daughter in the face.

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Pimp gets 10 years for trafficking underage girl in York, selling heroin

A Lehigh County man accused of pimping out a half-dozen heroin-addicted women in York County and elsewhere has been sentenced to a decade in federal prison. Willie James Johnson appeared in Harrisburg’s federal court on Wednesday, Feb. 13, where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment fee under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, court records state.

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Human trafficking crackdown continues in PA

To mark January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, officials from Pennsylvania DOT, the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania State Police, and Governor Tom Wolf’s administration held a press conference to highlight PennDOT’s work. With the start of the new year, the commonwealth is working to roll out a law aimed at protecting sexually exploited children.

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Resources for combating human trafficking

Human Trafficking is prevalent, unfortunately, even in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA – Executives from the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Human Services (DHS), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) joined by advocates and a human trafficking survivor today to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking and educate the public on the issue.

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Mother of alleged sex trafficking victim hopeful daughter is still alive

The mother of a missing Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania college student, who is an alleged victim of sex trafficking, said she’s holding out hope her daughter is still alive and being held against her will, adding that the 20-year-old “doesn’t have the street knowledge to survive out there.” “Woney engaged in a vile form of exploitation, using force and other coercion to compel young women to engage in paid sex for his enrichment,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.

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