Texas ranked first in the nation for the number of criminal cases that wound their way through federal courts last year. Of those 74 cases, 68 involved sex trafficking and six involved labor trafficking. Texas also ranked first for the number of new criminal human trafficking cases in 2018 with 19 initiated cases.
Liberty County, TX- Large increase of truck thefts in Liberty County have led investigators to the conclusion that these pick-up trucks have been used for human trafficking and other types of smuggling activity.
Alison Franklin said traffickers prey people who have been abused. As she got older she was kidnapped by gang members in Houston. “My real trafficker pretended to rescue me from them. What I didn’t know is they actually worked together to enslave American women and children in trafficking,” Franklin said.
Russell Baize, 63 of Abilene,TX. was arrested last month for Prostitution and Online Solicitation of a Minor. Baize drove to a hotel where an undercover detective and a 16-year-old agreed to meet him, he asked for her to be sent to his room. Baize was released from jail after posting bonds totaling $105,000.
She said in her early 20s, when she worked at the truck stop east of Austin with her sister, she was aware of “Lot Lizards,” women who worked as prostitutes for the truck drivers, but she didn’t think much about their ages or their situations.
Prosecutors say Khalil S. Maxwell led a sex trafficking ring in El Paso, Texas, from March 11, 2015 through October 31, 2016. Maxwell used physical violence to intimidate and cause underage girls, ranging in age from 13 to 17, to engage in commercial sex acts for money.
[Perpetrators] engage in social engineering and make people think they are consenting participants to their own exploitation, when all the while they are pulling strings like a puppet master, says Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, author of a book on sex trafficking
Charles Edward Garton, 40 of New Boston, TX, is facing two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Garton is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl from February 2018 to April 2018 who came to live in the home. Garton faces five to 99 years or life in prison.
The three-day anti-sex trafficking operation was started on May 6 by the Bell County, TX. Special Crimes unit and several other agencies. Officers targeted people wanting to buy sex and those orchestrating sex operations, Sheriff Eddie Lang said.
The 16-year-old victim told authorities that Eric Taylor, 24 had cooked up fake documents that landed her jobs at strip clubs in San Antonio, TX. Detectives said Taylor forced the girl into sex and made as much as $1,000 a day off her. He is also accused of pimping out 10 other women, some of whom are runaways and juveniles.
Lawyers for Facebook and Instagram are in a Harris County courtroom Friday morning attempting to dismiss two civil cases that accuse the social media giants of not protecting victims of sex trafficking.
“The support of my administration and the strength of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition is having an impact, not only in Central Texas, but throughout the state,” Det. Joseph Scaramucci told KWTX.
Scaramucci was the keynote speaker at the fundraising luncheon at the Austin Country Club in Austin, TX. Within one hour, the event raised more than $300,000.
“Backwards,” she said. “We have to change it to where men are bearing the brunt of the penalty for buying and selling human beings. They are walking away without being held legally, financially accountable for the harm to individuals and the community.”
“They are going on unpunished, and are becoming so bold in when they do it and how they do it and whoever they bring in and however many lives they destroy, they don’t care, so these people have to be pulled out and really, really persecuted for what they’ve done.”
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the world’s largest meeting and event industry association, today announced the organization’s commitment to combat child sex trafficking through a partnership with ECPAT-USA. As part of a live stream on April 4, 2019, celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), MPI will sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) a travel and tourism industry-driven initiative that seeks to provide awareness, tools, and support to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
An Austin-based nonprofit Allies Against Slavery has developed new technology to help social service agencies identify victims of human trafficking. The screening tool, called Lighthouse, makes it possible for organizations to quickly and effectively identify whether their clients are being exploited.
Officials from more than 10 U.S. cities convened Tuesday in Houston to learn about its successes combatting human trafficking, a broad approach in which the city’s health department, restaurant inspectors and cab companies all help identify potential victims.
Eric James Moreno, 37, of Anson,TX. was indicted February 27 on a 1st degree felony charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child of 14 years old. He was later released from the Jones County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
“This study shows we can do a better job identifying trafficked youth, who typically find it difficult to open up to healthcare providers,” said Dr. Claire Bocchini, a Baylor College of Medicine professor of pediatrics and the paper’s senior author.
Volunteer Morrisa Hatten, left, and program chair Staci Aldredge show some of the bras collected by Zonta Club for Free the Girls, a program providing opportunity for sex trafficking survivors to build their own business selling second-hand clothing while going to school, establishing a home and caring for their families.
Members of the public have more power than they realize to help spot and stop sex trafficking. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of trafficking victims are not kept in locked rooms or held without access to the outside world. Here are some things to look out for:
A new study from researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine says a screening tool specifically designed to identify human trafficking could be more effective than current practices in identifying sexually exploited youths.
City officials have shut down three northwest Dallas massage parlors they say employ women as prostitutes and have them sleep on mattresses on the floor, and four people suspected of human trafficking have been arrested. Last fall, undercover police officers said they were offered sex at each of the three parlors housed at 11309 Emerald Street: Jasmine, Passion X and Charming.
It’s been nearly three years since the legislature created a program called Texas Businesses Against Trafficking. The idea is to encourage businesses to adopt anti-trafficking policies and train their workers to spot victims. But right now, there are only six companies taking part across the state, including one in San Antonio. To get more companies on board, the state is now tweaking its rules for membership.
A new facility opening up on the North Side will help in the fight against human trafficking. The facility, called La Puerta – which translates as ‘The Door’ – will help some of the state’s estimated 79,000 victims of sex trafficking.
A New Boston, Texas, man entered pleas of not guilty Monday to charges of human trafficking, child pornography possession and sexual assault of a child. Robert Allen Smith, 34, appeared for arraignment Monday morning with Assistant Bowie County Public Defender Clayton Haas. After Haas entered the not guilty pleas, First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp asked 202nd District Judge John Tidwell to set the case for a jury trial in May.
Three Houston, TX. people were arrested in Houston on charges of sex trafficking after a woman from Fort Worth called her mother for help in December, saying she was being forced into prostitution, according to reports. When Kevin Winston asked her to become his prostitute, the woman resisted, but according to media reports Winston is accused of beating and forcing her into prostitution.
January is human trafficking awareness month. In Bryan, TX. a local group is looking to educate others about the growing trend. “The fact that some of the clients that I work with and some of the kiddos that I love are susceptible to this injustice makes me extremely passionate about it. It feels really close to home.”
Capt. Carol Twiss was featured speaker at a recent meeting of the Hill Country Republican Club in Kerr County, TX. informing attendees on “Human Trafficking,” its definition and what everyday citizens can look for in their neighborhoods and hometowns.
A Bowie County grand jury Thursday indicted a New Boston, Texas, man. Robert Allen Smith, 34, was indicted for two counts of sexual assault of a child and single counts of continuous trafficking of persons and possession of child pornography. The abuse allegedly occurred while the girl was 15 to 17 years old.
An inexcusable screw-up by U.S. marshals in federal court in Fort Worth could have tanked a case against three pimps who — let’s call it what it is — enslaved an underage girl through threats and manipulation. In a circumstance that seems all but unthinkable, the victim, under arrest for her own alleged crimes, was placed in a holding cell adjacent to the very men she was supposed to take the stand against.
In Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX. an underage sex trafficking victim who was scheduled to testify against her abusive pimps. The threats and intimidation began almost immediately at the Fort Worth federal courthouse holding area, court records show.
An inexcusable screw-up by U.S. marshals in federal court in Fort Worth could have tanked a case against three pimps who — let’s call it what it is — enslaved an underage girl through threats and manipulation.
There are more than 300-thousand victims of human trafficking in Texas including almost 80 thousand minors and youth victims. That’s according to a study by the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas. Human sex trafficking is a multibillion dollar business that has made use of the open internet for marketing and recruiting of victims. This is a look at how sex is sold online – how there are efforts to shut down those online sites – and how the traffickers adapt.
Victims of sex trafficking — a $99 million criminal enterprise in Dallas, TX. each year alone — are penalized by our criminal justice system and our society for sexual acts they are forced into by traffickers who are essentially modern-day slave owners.
McLennan County law enforcement and local activists in Waco, Texas continued to bring the issue of human trafficking to light early this year with the arrest of dozens of men suspected of paying for sex, including a police officer, well-known restaurateurs, a pastor and a teacher.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, TX. and the United Kingdom Border Force.
Jason Daniel Gandy, 41, received the 30-year sentence following his July 23 conviction on four counts of sex trafficking minors, one count of transporting minors, one count of sexually exploiting a child, and one count of transporting child pornography.
Two Henderson men are being held in the County Jail of Rusk County, Texas on human trafficking charges, and officials say they expect more arrests in the case. Davis, 28, arrested at the scene is being held on three counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of human trafficking along with forcing a 26 year old women to have sex with a 12-year-old boy.
This past October, a Dallas-area man was sentenced to life in federal prison for trafficking children for sex. The case offered a rare glimpse into a dark underworld most Americans don’t realize exists, right in their own backyards.
International studies senior Hannah Robinson is the A&M’s IJM chapter president. Involved in the fight against human trafficking since seventh grade, Robinson has witnessed human trafficking numbers rise, making the issue more prevalent than ever. “It’s just really important that we keep this issue very highlighted so that we can hopefully come and solve this issue that’s going on,” Robinson said. “The more people that we get to look out for people who might be going through human trafficking, the better and we can get our representatives involved and [advocate for legislation] that will combat human trafficking around the world.”
Temple High School senior Madeleine Ruth Norman appealed to the school’s faculty and staff to keep an eye out for victims of human trafficking in a special presentation Thursday. “Texas trafficks about 300,000 people a year,” she said. “Texas is the No. 2 state for human trafficking, second only to California. Houston is the No. 1 city for trafficking in America.” Norman said that trafficked people are often the victims of an intimate partner, a relative, or someone posing as a benefactor or offering a job.
“The methods of recruitment for sex trafficking … the ones that are more prominent to middle school/high school students, if you look you’ll notice that they’re kind of all related to this vulnerability that I was talking about,” she said.
Another vulnerable girl duped on the internet into a relationship with a man who, in turn, sold her body time and time again. But this particular story had a twist, a twist that should give us hope that the scourge of human sex trafficking — a scourge that is all around us in Dallas — is something we can fight and we can defeat.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) and law enforcement partners from across our region, conducted a Human Trafficking/prostitution and “John” sting from October 15th to October 30th, 2018. Detectives and agents from multiple agencies along with Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) worked in an undercover capacity posing as “Johns” and “Prostitutes.”
The parts he walks are notorious for drugs and prostitution. He and others like him aren’t there for illicit purposes. They walk and they pray and they try to help those caught up in the sex trade to escape. It’s just one small way the Sugar Land man can help make a difference for those tangled in the web of human trafficking.
This sentenced was announced by U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox, Northern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Shreveport (Louisiana) Police Department; and the FBI.
At a Wednesday press conference, Abbott appeared with leaders of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to announce their partnership, which aims to stop labor and sex trafficking in bars and restaurants where alcohol is sold.
A human trafficking survivor from Texas sued Facebook this week, alleging the social media platform provides human traffickers an unrestricted way to “stalk, exploit, recruit, groom … and extort children into the sex trade.”
Fifteen women were rescued from a human trafficking ring earlier this week in Dallas, Texas. Investigation began after a report of prostitution and possible human trafficking happening at the house. Lead suspect found to be a part of illegally prostituting women for profit in multiple cities. Police suspect he controlled and manipulated more than a hundred women.
A federal magistrate ordered a local man detained Tuesday without bond while the defendant awaits more court appearances in a case that involves child sex trafficking and production of child pornography.
Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEV), a nonprofit organization fighting sex trafficking, uses virtual reality to educate kids. REEV will run a pilot of their VR child safety program at the McCallum High School in Austin Independent School District, Texas.
Officers with the San Angelo Police Department were searching for the man on an outstanding warrant of sexual assault of a child, according to an SAPD news release. They found him at a residence the 1900 block of Spaulding Street and took him into custody without incident.
The man she met online would pay her a fee of $1,200, according to a news release from Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon. In exchange, that man would get to “engage in sex acts with the child,” the release states.
A man was arrested on a promotion of prostitution charge Wednesday after a University of North Texas student accused the man of pressuring her into sexual acts for money, according to an arrest affidavit from UNT police.
Hands kept shooting up in the air. A group of about 25 men sat eagerly waiting to ask questions about sex trafficking, hoping to find answers to a problem prevalent in Dallas and cities around the nation.
A man and woman ran a sex-trafficking operation out of a West Dallas home for nearly three years, federal authorities say, giving victims drugs as a means of controlling them and beating them savagely to mete out punishment.