The newsletter stories are archived beginning with the most recent. Please scroll down to find the stories from past newsletters.
ARTICLES FROM THE DECEMBER 2023 NEWSLETTER
Saving trafficking victims from a sprawling, underground network of slavery and sex abuse
“I was being trafficked through the strip clubs. And everyone was in on it, from the doorman to the police in that city, to the bartender, to the house mom, everybody in that establishment.” Click here to read more.
From choir boy to ‘Big Time Pimp’: An engineer who ran a San Antonio brothel sent to federal prison
An electrical engineer who ran a prostitution ring out of a San Antonio massage parlor has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison. Derek Wai Hung Tam Sing, 52, pleaded guilty in July to a charge of interstate travel for racketeering activity. Sing admitted traveling here from California once a month to check on his business, Meridian Spa on the Northeast Side, where he hired women who engaged in sex for money. Click here to read more.
Former Potosi, Missouri officer pleads guilty to sex trafficking charges
POTOSI, Mo. – A former Potosi police officer pleads guilty to charges of sex trafficking, solicitation of child pornography, and coercion and enticement of a minor. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE NOVEMBER 2023 NEWSLETTER
Renee Collins found guilty of sex trafficking and abusing her disabled daughter
Renee Collins, who was on trial this week for sex trafficking and child abuse involving her disabled daughter, was found guilty by a jury Friday… Collins, 54, was on trial to determine whether she caused her daughter, who has cerebral palsy, to submit to rape for drugs and money. Click here to read more.
Camioneros de EE. UU. ponen freno a la trata
Alfa & Omega (Spain) La organización Truckers Against Trafficking ha formado a 1,6 millones de conductores profesionales para detectar a posibles víctimas. Ya han contribuido a liberar a 1.300 personas. Click here to read more.
Denver man charged with human trafficking, pimping
A Denver man is accused of human trafficking, pimping and money laundering in new charges announced by the Denver District Attorney’s Office today. William F. Galbreath, 37, is charged with human trafficking for sexual servitude, pimping, money laundering and violating a protection order, according to the district attorney’s office. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE OCTOBER 2023 NEWSLETTER
Sacramento County man, 29, gets 71 years in prison for pimping his girlfriend, threats
A 29-year-old Sacramento County man was sentenced last week to 71 years to life in prison for human trafficking, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said. Dominick Roberson was arrested in 2022 on suspicion of pimping and pandering a woman he was dating, authorities said. Click here to read more.
Breaking: PA state constable charged with over 700 crimes in sex trafficking investigation
Chambersburg PD announce the arrest of a 64-year-old borough man for a laundry list of sex crimes, including sex trafficking and prostitution offenses. Timothy Raye Heefner is charged with 704 offenses total. Click here to read more.
Smith County jury sentences Dallas man to 60 years for sex trafficking
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – A Dallas man convicted of sex trafficking women, including at least one minor, was sentenced to 60 years in prison by a Smith County jury. Korwin Jerard Jones, 34, also known as De’Vonta BMT, was accused of participating in human trafficking in April 2020 after a Texas Ranger contacted an investigator in Smith County with information about an underaged sex worker Jones was allegedly managing. He was found guilty on Friday, Sept. 1. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2023 NEWSLETTER
St. Charles police arrest five people in connection with human trafficking enterprise
CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — Five people are now charged with multiple felonies after an international human trafficking ring was busted in Kane County on Thursday. The arrests follow a months-long investigation, and the victims are all women from South America. Click here to read more.
Human trafficking remains a significant challenge in Canada, new data reveals
TORONTO, July 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline has identified 1,500 human trafficking cases since its launch in May 2019. Newly released data show that the number of cases has fluctuated between 251 and 460 cases per year. During this time, the Hotline supported 2,170 victims and survivors of human trafficking. Victims/survivors comprised the primary group of callers – approximately 37% – reaching out to the Hotline’s person-centered, confidential service. Click here to read more.
Cuban nationals sentenced in relation to sex trafficking in area strip clubs
HOUSTON – Three Cuban nationals have been ordered to prison for sex trafficking and related crimes. Rasiel Gutierrez Moreno, 38, Hendry Jimenez Milanes, 39, and Rafael Mendoza Labrada, 29, were sentenced to 210, 120 and 34 months in federal prison, respectively. Moreno was ordered to pay $451,298 in restitution, while Milanes was ordered to pay $359,108. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE AUGUST 2023 NEWSLETTER
Man sex trafficked 13-year-old he met on Facebook as she lived at group home, feds say
A man is facing at least 15 years in prison over sex trafficking a 13-year-old he met on Facebook, federal prosecutors said. Carlos Casillas, 51, of Springfield, Massachusetts, began messaging the girl on the social media platform as she was living in a group home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Click here to read more.
Edmonton trio accused of trafficking Sask., B.C. teens
Three people from Edmonton are accused of luring girls from other provinces to work in the sex trade. Christopher Mucheni, 29, Demsey Lorquet-Maura, 30, and Lauren Wise, 22, “all face numerous human trafficking charges,” police announced on Monday. Click here to read more.
NJ couple sentenced to jail for sex trafficking
U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger reported that a husband and wife from Passaic County have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a sex trafficking scheme. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JULY 2023 NEWSLETTER
‘Horrific’: North Texas child sex trafficker forced teen girls into prostitution
A 42-year-old North Texas man faces life in federal prison for “horrific” sex-trafficking of teenage girls whom he beat, drugged and raped. Anjum Zafar Mian of DeSoto coerced at least two girls, ages 16 and 17, into commercial sex by threatening to harm their family if they didn’t comply, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He also brought a 17-year-old girl from Oklahoma to Texas to engage in commercial sex and refused to let her return home. Click here to read more.
Cartel-backed pot grows linked to human trafficking, inhumane working conditions
Trinity County, Calif. – If you buy weed illegally, you unwittingly could be supporting Mexican cartels and other criminal syndicates that lure workers to farms in Northern California and Southern Oregon, where they often suffer inhumane conditions and sometimes sexual abuse. Or worse. Some disappear, presumed murdered, their bodies discarded within the area’s vast wilderness. Click here to read more.
Cartersville motel manager pleads guilty to coercing labor, sex acts from worker
Cartersville, Ga. — A 70-year-old hotel manager has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges after prosecutors said he took advantage and exploited a vulnerable worker who was trying to get her life back on track. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JUNE 2023 NEWSLETTER
Former Westlake Schools Superintendent Arrested in Sex Trafficking Sting
Dan Keenan, who for years served as superintendent for the Westlake school system and who is currently the executive director of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, was among ten men arrested in a recent human trafficking sting in North Olmsted conducted by the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and partner agencies. Click here to read more.
Black girls and the sexual-abuse-to-prison pipeline
Black girls, who make up a bulk of child sex trafficking victims, often end up behind bars after surviving or attempting to escape abuse. Girls like Cyntoia Brown-Long, who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 43-year-old man who paid to have sex with her when she was 16. She was eventually granted clemency and released after serving 15 years. Click here to read more.
DPS: 30 children found in human trafficking operation
MIDLAND-ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) – On Tuesday May 9, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division (CID) ran a missing and exploited child operation and found a total of 30 children. The age of youngest child recovered was 13 years of age. Law enforcement’s goal was to find or recover children reported missing in Midland and Ector counties. The process also targeted people seeking to exploit and victimize trafficking victims, and identified and apprehend people suspected to be involved in human trafficking. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MAY 2023 NEWSLETTER
Police allege more than 20 vulnerable women targeted in ‘extreme’ human trafficking case
Investigators believe more than 20 vulnerable women in Edmonton were exploited by a human trafficking suspect who is alleged to have targeted victims dealing with addictions and experiencing homelessness. Click here to read more.
Sex traffickers used America’s favorite family safety app to control victims
Earlier this year, an 18-year-old Amazon employee brought a tip to the San Diego Police Department: prior to working for the tech giant, she had been forced into sex work when she was 17. Her alleged trafficker told her that she had to work six days a week and earn at least $1,000 a day, according to a search warrant obtained by Forbes. Text messages also showed her alleged trafficker forced her to do something else: install an app called Life360 on her phone. Click here to read more.
‘They are going to take the most vulnerable’/How to spot human trafficking
North Carolina ranks in the top 10 for reports of human trafficking. Most victims are women, and about a third of them are underage. A Greensboro nonprofit called Abolition NC is saving people by reaching students and educators. Abolition NC has programs in 21 North Carolina school districts. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE APRIL 2023 NEWSLETTER
Man sentenced to life for trafficking a 6-year-old
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Edited News Release/KAIT) A Palestine man was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a six-year-old child. Mario Waters, 34, was sentenced this week by United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. In February 2018, a six-year-old child was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital due to symptoms that were later determined to be caused by several sexually transmitted diseases. Click here to read more.
Texas man convicted of sex trafficking, possessing child pornography
A Houston man pleaded guilty to several sex trafficking crimes and possession of child pornography Feb. 27 following a Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Houston Police Department. A judge in the Southern District of Texas convicted Edgar Botello, 30, of conspiracy to sex trafficking; sex trafficking with force, fraud or coercion; and possession of child pornography. Click here to read more.
Wyoming Highway Patrol visits truck stops to hand out info on Truckers Against Trafficking
Officers at the Evanston port of entry recently visited local truck stops and businesses handing out information about Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). This per a post on their social media. TAT’s goal is to acquire an army of transportation professionals to assist law enforcement in recognizing and reporting human trafficking, in order to aid in the recovery of victims and the arrest of their perpetrators. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MARCH 2023 NEWSLETTER
Uber Freight, other carriers train drivers to spot signs of human trafficking
A trucking industry push to spread the message about anti-trafficking efforts is gaining momentum. Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has trained over 1.5 million as of the beginning of 2023, up from 1.3 million a year ago, the organization told Transport Dive. The group provides educational and training materials to carriers at no cost. Click here to read more.
Dallas man gets 25 years in prison for ‘brutal’ sex trafficking ring
A man convicted of running a “brutal” sex trafficking ring was sentenced to 25 years in prison, federal officials announced Thursday. Anthony Johnson, 45, pleaded guilty on May 10 to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking through force, fraud, and coercion, and sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas. Click here to read more.
Virginia explores ways to prevent human trafficking
Experts on human trafficking say the problem is all around us, and a year-long study in Virginia has sparked several recommendations to combat sex and labor human trafficking. The Virginia Commission on Human Trafficking Prevention and Survivor Support, formed last year by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, submitted its final report in January, urging tougher penalties, as well as increased education and training for police, health care workers and teachers, so that trafficked victims can be more readily identified. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE FEBRUARY 2023 NEWSLETTER
Human trafficking happens in our area, MoDOT and authorities want you to know how to spot it
Officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), Missouri Department of Transportation and the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department are taking part in a new human trafficking awareness initiative. “Human trafficking often involves our nation’s transportation systems, including Missouri’s roadways,” MSHP Col. Eric T. Olson said. Click here to read more.
Ashley Moody encourages Floridians to join the fight against human trafficking
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody highlighted initiatives and tools for Floridians to learn about the signs and dangers of human trafficking, imploring them to join in the fight against human trafficking by learning how to spot and report suspicious activity. Click here to read more.
Michigan State Police, truck drivers teaming up to fight human trafficking
Human trafficking is a real issue happening across the country. However, most people don’t notice it even when it’s happening right in front of them. “It’s one of those things that we know is out there. We know it’s prevalent, but yet, we’re still just scratching the surface of it,” said Det. Scott Wieland with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JANUARY 2023 NEWSLETTER
Mother of trafficking victim in Durham says education could have saved her daughter
In many cases, trafficked victims start off feeling safe with those trafficking them. Samantha had met her trafficker at school, and they had mutual friends. “She felt like he cared for her,” shared Lynda Harlos, the mother of a trafficking victim. Harlos believes her lack of knowledge on trafficking in the region is why she partially missed the signs. Click here to read more.
Idaho State Police to hold anti-human trafficking training
In its continued efforts to educate and prepare its officers to better handle the issue, Idaho State Police [ISP] is hosting its first-ever human-trafficking training seminar. “It’s definitely something that’s important to us,” ISP captain Shawn Staley told EastIdahoNews.com. “We need to get better at stopping human trafficking — we’ve got to.” Click here to read more.
Human Trafficking: A Look Inside “The Life,” part 1
Human trafficking is a real issue happening across the country, including Wisconsin. However, most people don’t notice it even when it’s happening right in front of them. “It’s one of those things that we know is out there. We know it’s prevalent, but yet, we’re still just scratching the surface of it,” said Det. Scott Wieland with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE DECEMBER 2022 NEWSLETTER
60% of student transporters observed at least one human trafficking indicator
“School bus drivers and other school transportation staff are education leaders who play an important role in the lives of children, especially when it comes to keeping them safe. I am always inspired by the way the industry, even while already managing very full plates and negotiating many challenges, welcomes our training with open arms because they recognize that it is an important topic when it comes to student safety,” commented Lexi Higgins BOTL’s deputy director. Click here to read more.
Sex trafficking survivor shares her story
“Trafficking is the mother who can’t afford to pay rent and gives her 12-year-old daughter to the landlord to have sex with, or kids who are having trouble at home who really don’t get love and affection,” said Emily Waters, a survivor of trafficking. Click here to read more.
US Attorney: 4 men used online advertisement to arrange to have sex with young girls in Mass.
Four men are facing trafficking charges after federal investigators say they used online advertisements to arrange to have sex with a pair of young girls. Each defendant physically met up with the individual purporting to sell the 12 and 14-year-old girls for sex and committed to paying to sexually abuse one or both of the children. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE NOVEMBER 2022 NEWSLETTER
Michigan State Police rescue 21-year-old woman from alleged sex trafficking
A missing persons report to the Michigan State Police ended with troopers recovering a 21-year-old woman from an alleged sex trafficking ring near Detroit. The Saginaw resident told police that 33-year-old John Luke Ramirez, who she met online, forced her into sex trafficking. The woman added that Ramirez had control of her phone and would park outside rooms where she met people for “dates.” Click here to read more.
FBI Conducts Nationwide Operation Against Sex Trafficking
Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters. Unfortunately, such crimes—against both adults and children—are far more common than most people realize. Throughout the nation, the FBI worked alongside 200 state, local and federal partners to conduct 391 in Operation Cross Country. The youngest victim found was 11 years old. Click here to read more.
Kingston man now facing 95 human trafficking related charges, police seek additional victims
Since the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced sexual assault and human trafficking-related charges laid against a local man in July 2022, further victims have been identified and more charges have been laid. The investigation began in January 2022 when police were made aware of an individual “luring women and girls through social media platforms for the purpose of exploitation.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE OCTOBER 2022 NEWSLETTER
Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, in partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), train Floridians to identify and report human trafficking
FLORIDA – Attorney General Moody, TAT, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) are working together to train more than 100 Floridians in the gaming and passenger transportation industries to identify and report human trafficking. Task forces and coalitions in Florida’s 67 counties dedicate efforts to combating human trafficking. Click here to read more.
How an LGBTQ+ young man, Jose Alfaro, escaped a trafficking nightmare
TEXAS – A survivor from Texas speaks about his harrowing experience, his uncertain road to recovery and his mission to save others from the predatory trap that ensnared him. “I was in such a vulnerable place,” Alfaro recalls. He continues, “I spilled my whole story. He said he had the means to help me.” Alfaro thought about his options but had nowhere else to go. Click here to read more.
According to the U.N., 50 million people lived in ‘modern slavery’ last year
GENEVA — The U.N. labor agency estimates that some 50 million people worldwide were living in “modern slavery” – either in forced labor or marriage – at the end of last year, marking a 25% jump from its previous report five years ago. “The 50 million figure is the conservative baseline estimate of people living in modern slavery throughout the world,” says Grace Forrest, Founding Director of Walk Free. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2022 NEWSLETTER
My father trafficked me throughout my entire childhood. It looked nothing like people think.
People need to educate themselves on what trafficking can really look like. My father trafficked me from the ages of five or six until I was a teenager. Knowing this, I can say I was never once tied up in a dark place, as pictures suggest. On the contrary, even amusement parks were among the places I experienced trafficking. Click here to read more.
Former owner of Springdale motel ordered to pay $25M to human trafficking victim
SPRINGDALE, Ark. — A Benton County judge found that the former owners of a Springdale motel helped facilitate the trafficking of a teenage girl. OM Hospitality, Inc., which owned the Economy Inn until August 2018, has been ordered to pay $25 million for not stopping the girl’s trafficking within the motel for three years. The survivor’s attorney says she believes this is one of the most significant judgments for a case filed explicitly against an individual, hotel, or motel. Click here to read more.
Human trafficking survivor reconnects with the man who saved her life.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Alicia Tappan shares her experience as she prepared to virtually reconnect with the man who, years ago, helped her when others shamed and silenced her. “I’m going to cry happy tears, I think, because I really am grateful for this man,” said Tappan. “This man” stepped up when other school staff members tried to cover the story of the night Tappan, a teenager then, was raped. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE AUGUST 2022 NEWSLETTER
Transit systems taking steps to combat human trafficking
Human trafficking is a heinous crime that affects thousands of people all across the United States, but transit providers and services are uniquely positioned to help combat this illegal activity. The United Nations defines human trafficking as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, or deception for the purpose of exploitation.” Millions of people across the globe are trafficked each year, and many of these victims are targeted by predators as a result of their migration statuses, economic hardships, and ethnicities. In 2020, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline received 10,583 instances of human trafficking — a figure that likely undercounts the full scope of the problem across the country. Click here to read more.
Parents of Texas teenager who left Dallas Mavericks game speak out on human trafficking case
DALLAS — The parents of a 15-year-old Texas girl who in April left a Mavericks game with an unidentified man, ultimately prompting a human trafficking investigation, are speaking out to raise awareness about human trafficking. Kyle and Brooke Morris, in an interview with ESPN and “Good Morning America,” said they want their daughter’s story to be a cautionary one about the dangers of human sex trafficking and how laws governing the crime are applied. Click here to read more.
How this nonprofit is teaching the public, truckers about human trafficking
The nonprofit Truckers Against Trafficking is pairing with Walmart Transportation on their mobile exhibit to educate drivers about the signs of modern-day slavery. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JULY 2022 NEWSLETTER
‘It can change your DNA:’ How human trafficking impacts the brain
HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Imagine spending every day in fear it could be your last. Experts say that’s the reality for survivors of human trafficking. “You and me will never understand that the first person that tells you I love you and I care about you is also brutalizing you as they’re doing it,” says Dede Wallace with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force. Click here to read more.
NSP troopers locate missing Indiana girl near Kearney; Colorado man arrested
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have located a missing 13-year-old girl from Indiana and arrested a Colorado man following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon, NSP was notified by the Lafayette, Indiana Police Department that the missing girl was believed to be traveling through Nebraska with an adult man. Approximately 20 minutes later, a trooper located the suspect vehicle, a Ford F-150, as it was traveling westbound on I-80 near Kearney. The trooper performed a traffic stop on the vehicle. Click here to read more.
Man in international sex trafficking ring gets prison for brothels in three countries
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Toronto man was sentenced to two years in federal prison on Thursday for leading an international sex trafficking ring with dozens of Asian brothels in the United States, Canada and Australia. Zongtao Chen, also known as Mark Chen, 49, was extradited to the U.S. from Canada and arraigned in the District of Oregon in February for racketeering charges. In Oregon, he oversaw brothels in Portland, Tigard and Beaverton, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JUNE 2022 NEWSLETTER
School counselor: Online human trafficking is a local problem
CENTER, MO. — Adria Palmer, counselor at Mark Twain High School, said sex trafficking isn’t something we can pretend to ignore. “I want parents, grandparents and guardians to know that just because we are from a small rural area doesn’t mean it isn’t happening,” she said. “Because it absolutely is.” Click here to read more.
‘Trafficking happens in the shadows’: WNC a hot spot for human trafficking, official says
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A local non-profit serving six communities in western North Carolina now wants to make sure people in the mountains know about a hidden issue impacting the most vulnerable of the population. Click here to read more.
CVSA releases results from 2022 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative
WASHINGTON — More than 2,460 law enforcement officers participated in this year’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. All three of the alliance’s member countries — Canada, Mexico and the U.S. — participated in this awareness and outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about human trafficking, according to a CVSA news release. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MAY 2022 NEWSLETTER
‘Eyes on the road’: Canadian truckers fight human trafficking along highways
One of Canada’s largest transportation companies, Day & Ross, is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a non-profit that educates drivers to combat human trafficking in their daily work. Click here to read more.
Anderson husband and wife sentenced to prison for sex trafficking of minors
Gary Garland, 54, and Shannon Garland, 49, both of Anderson, were sentenced to 35 years and 26 and a half years, respectively, for their roles in conspiracies to sex traffic minors and to produce child pornography. Click here to read more.
Analysis of 2020 National Human Trafficking Hotline data
In a year when everything from crime to commerce saw dramatic shifts, reports of human trafficking were most notable in 2020 for their consistency. Or, to put it another way, human trafficking appears to be pandemic-proof. That is one of three major categories of findings in Polaris’s analysis of data gathered over the calendar year 2020 from the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE APRIL 2022 NEWSLETTER
Human trafficking strategy helping girls being moved along Highway 401 corridor
Over the past six years, 267 victims of human trafficking have sought support through the Hope Found Project in Ottawa, a group that helps those who’ve been or who are being trafficked. Only two of those survivors were from outside Canada. Click here to read more.
SW Washington man convicted of sex trafficking teens
In 2016, Jackson began coaching Keonte Scott, of Vancouver, on how to traffic Vancouver resident Diana Petrovic, according to the news release. Then they began using Petrovic to recruit and traffic girls. By 2019, several girls reported to law enforcement they were trafficked by Scott and Petrovic, the Department of Justice said. In one instance a 14-year-old and 15-year-old who ran away from their homes in Lane County, Oregon, said they met the pair at a mall. Click here to read more.
Broomfield man gets 20 years for sex trafficking of homeless minors
Steven Contee used his construction business in Broomfield and drugs to lure homeless, minor boys into his sex trafficking operation, the FBI said. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MARCH 2022 NEWSLETTER
Opinion: Human trafficking’s thrived in pandemic
By Nicole “Nikki” Clifton … Acknowledging the prevalence of human trafficking is an extremely crucial step for business leaders to take in order to educate and make it a “relatable” issue that a collective group will want to help address. Click here to read more.
Investigator explains prevalence of human trafficking in Vermont
Every year since 2010, the president has dedicated the month of January to raising awareness about human trafficking and educating the public about how to identify and prevent this crime. And no state is untouched. Our Erin Brown spoke about the severity of the situation in Vermont with Lt. Michael Studin with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations with the Vermont State Police. Watch the video to see the full interview. Click here to read more.
Three EMBARK employees credited with preventing human trafficking situation in Oklahoma City
As part of the fight against human trafficking, EMBARK has TSA-led training programs for new employees and ongoing training from Buses on the Lookout. A human trafficking situation in Oklahoma City was prevented by three EMBARK employees who have been credited with recognizing the warning signs and taking action. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE FEBRUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER
Fayetteville man sentenced for sex trafficking teens online
FAYETTEVILLE — A local man received 40 years in prison with 20 years suspended Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to sex trafficking of minors. Lexus DeShawn Hobbs, 23, of Fayetteville was arrested in February in connection with an online prostitution operation involving teen girls that ranged from Washington County to Springfield, Mo. Click here to read more.
Agricultural labor trafficking growing problem in Illinois
In Illinois, farming is big business as one of America’s leading producers of soybeans, corn and pork. The Illinois Farm Bureau estimates that Illinois’s agricultural industry and related activity contribute more than $50 billion dollars to the state’s economy. But the nature of farm work and the structure of our nation’s migrant labor program make the people who perform long hours of labor in Illinois’ more than 72,000 farms vulnerable to abuse and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated an already alarming situation. Click here to read more.
Combating human trafficking: Awareness campaign set to begin
WASHINGTON — Mexico is joining the U.S. and Canada for this year’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. The initiative is designed to raise awareness and is an outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, along with the signs to look for and what drivers should do if they suspect someone is being trafficked. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JANUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER
“Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 Next Gen sold to Freestyle Transport, net proceeds of $260,000 going to TAT
The “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 Next Generation was auctioned recently at Ritchie Bros. in Perris, California. The winning bid submitted by Serg Kodryanu, CEO of Freestyle Transport, resulted in $260,000 in support for Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). The 501(c)3 non-profit is dedicated to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing, and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees. Click here to read more.
The facts of, the myths about and the solutions for child trafficking
The prosecution rested its case last week in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the New York socialite and alleged accomplice of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein. She’s facing six charges for her alleged role in Epstein’s trafficking of underage girls. Advocates for survivors of child sex trafficking say the Maxwell case is unique. They argue it’s more common for law enforcement to target trafficking survivors than their abusers. Click here to read more.
SunLine Transit partners with valley nonprofits to combat human trafficking
It’s so impressive when valley resources come together for the good. Such is the case with several local agencies. SunLine Transit has recently partnered with numerous valley nonprofits, including The Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center (BSCC) to launch a human trafficking awareness campaign. It’s a crucial new initiative. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE DECEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Sale of Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 Next Gen benefits Truckers Against Trafficking
In an effort to further educate and fund efforts to combat human trafficking, Don Blake, Inland Kenworth – Phoenix new truck sales manager, is leading an effort to auction a special “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 Next Generation. Proceeds from the sale of the truck will go directly to Truckers Against Trafficking a non-profit organization devoted to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing, and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees. The project has received support from numerous sponsors Kenworth Truck Company, Inland Kenworth, and other leading companies and organizations in the trucking industry. Click here to read more.
University of Arkansas event raises awareness of human trafficking In transportation industry
Trucking industry executives and staff came together recently to raise awareness of human trafficking that affects about 40 million people worldwide. In an event Tuesday (Nov. 9), staff of Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and nonprofit Truckers Against Trafficking discussed trafficking, its warning signs and how to help victims. The Business Integrity Leadership Initiative of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas hosted the event. Click here to read more.
How truckers hauling Amazon freight help fight human trafficking
More than 5,000 Amazon drivers and transportation employees are trained to identify and respond to instances of human trafficking.
Amazon transportation employee Mark Stephens immediately felt concerned when he pulled into one of his familiar truck stops outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Stephens, a field leader who teaches defensive driving and safety courses to Amazon drivers and transportation associates, saw two young women walking in-between the lines of tractor-trailer trucks parked at the rest stop. The young women seemed lost and out of place. An SUV suddenly pulled up alongside the women. A male passenger stepped out and pushed both women into the vehicle. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Eleven arrests made in sex trafficking demand reduction operation in Boise
BOISE – On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, Boise Police officers in partnership with Idaho State Police troopers conducted a sex trafficking demand reduction operation at an undisclosed location in Boise. The intent of the operation was to send a clear message that illicit criminal activities, including the sex trafficking of men, women, and children, are not welcome to operate in Idaho. Click here to read more.
Sunline Transit is trying to disrupt human trafficking in Coachelle Valley with new awareness campaign
It’s a call to action that Sunline Transit Agency hopes will help disrupt human trafficking operations throughout Coachella Valley. “Some human traffickers use the bus to transport their victims. You can play a critical role in fighting this crime, and you could be just the lifeline a human trafficking victim is hoping will recognize the situation they are in.” Sunline has posted on their website. “Be a disruptive force in human trafficking routes of those being coerced into labor or sex trafficking.” Click here to read more.
Survivors of sex trafficking face shortage in shelters and resources for recovery
Sex trafficking raids and busts often capture the headlines. But what happens to the people who survive those crimes, and often have nowhere to go? Inside Your World Investigates discovered a shortage in specialized care and shelter for survivors. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE OCTOBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Howes inducts Truckers Against Trafficking into its Hall of Fame
Today, the Howes Hall of Fame announced Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) as its first inductee to the class of 2021. A grassroots organization working tirelessly alongside truckers since 2009, TAT has taken a true stand against this appalling practice. TAT’s mission is to educate, equip, empower, and mobilize members of the trucking, bus, and energy industries to combat human trafficking. Click here to read more.
TCA sticks to pledge against human trafficking
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is known for being a voice for trucking companies and their drivers, as well has having a deep commitment to the safety of our nation’s roadways. Part of that commitment is taking a stand against human trafficking. In January, TCA took action to help eliminate human trafficking by signing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) pledge. The pledge outlines numerous ways the transportation industry can unify efforts to eliminate trafficking. Click here to read more.
State officials announce 46 arrested, 21 victims rescued in KY human trafficking sting
It’s a fight that Kentucky has been working on for well over a decade – putting a stop to human trafficking. On Wednesday, Governor Andy Beshear announced 46 people were arrested and 21 victims, including two minors, were rescued in Operation United Front. “Labor and sex trafficking is one of the worst evils imaginable,” said Governor Beshear. “It subjects victims to unspeakable harms. It violates them over and over.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Smithfield man sentenced to three life sentences for human trafficking
A Smithfield man was sentenced today to three consecutive life sentences in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and of a minor; sex trafficking by force fraud and coercion; sex trafficking of a minor; using the internet to promote a prostitution business enterprise (ITAR); and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Click here to read more.
Training to end trafficking held in McPherson
Thursday, members of law enforcement, truckers and local industry leaders joined Truckers Against Trafficking and the Attorney General’s Office for a training focused on reducing the instances of human trafficking in Kansas. The event, held in McPherson, provided ongoing collaboration among the various agencies. Click here to read more.
Beyond the furrows: How labor trafficking affects farmworkers and what’s being done locally
During the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers helped the rest of us keep some semblance of order during the initial wave of uncertainty. And farmworkers are included in that workforce; they’re how we get our food on the table. So when the pandemic hit, Andrea Rojas saw an increase in calls from agricultural workers to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE AUGUST 2021 NEWSLETTER
Human trafficking initiative launches training for truckers, bus drivers
Jackson, Miss. — State law enforcement said it is bringing in new help in the fight against human trafficking. Human trafficking is a fast-growing problem where thousands of people each day subject to being victims. The state is launching a new initiative called “Be The Solution.” Click here to read more.
N.H. man who ran prostitution, drug operations gets 21 years
Manhester, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man convicted of sex trafficking of a minor and other crimes has been sentenced to 21 years in prison, authorities said. Click here to read more.
‘Trafficking is absolutely happening in our communities’: Experts shed light on human trafficking
Wisconsin (NBC 26) — Across the United States, and even here in Wisconsin, human trafficking is something experts say happens every day. Oftentimes experts describe human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JULY 2021 NEWSLETTER
Former Marine who pleaded guilty to decades of sex trafficking sentenced to 30 years
A former Marine from Jacksonville, N.C., was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison for the sex trafficking of hundreds of women over nearly two decades. Jesse Gabriel Marks, 38, pleaded guilty last September to charges of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a May 7 release. Click here to read more.
Friday’s human trafficking incident example of a ‘daily issue’
COLUMBIA – On Friday, the Columbia Police Department along with numerous other law enforcement agencies helped rescue nine victims of human trafficking at the Holiday Inn East Hotel. Officers also located two children in the operation. Click here to read more.
First sex trafficking shelter for men in US is opening in Denton, Texas
DENTON, Texas — The first “safe home” established for young men will be welcoming residents the first week of June. “Bob’s House of Hope” is the first shelter in the United States that will house sexually abused men between the ages of 18-24. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JUNE 2021 NEWSLETTER
SRTC trucking students learn to watch for human trafficking
Before a commercial truck driver graduates from Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC), the student must prove that they are ready to handle the demands of driving a commercial vehicle … One lesson, however, has little to do with operating a tractor-trailer, and everything to do with making the country safer for some of the most vulnerable people in the world. The Commercial Truck Driving program at SRTC has joined forces with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) … Click here to read more.
SC asks truck drivers to help fight human trafficking
It’s a simple request that could many lives. State Attorney General Alan Wilson has teamed up with truckers around the state to help stop human trafficking. Click here to read more.
Oklahoma City man sentenced to federal prison for child sex trafficking
An Oklahoma City man was given a lengthy prison sentence for coercing two juveniles to have sex with him and other men by threatening to evict their families. Rolando Cifuentes-Lopez, 37, was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison, according to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney Robert Troester. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MAY 2021 NEWSLETTER
Highway Heroes: Attorney General Moody enlisting truckers in fight against human trafficking
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Attorney General Ashley Moody is seeking to increase the number of Floridians working to end human trafficking and is enlisting the help of a Sarasota-based organization. PGT Innovations is the largest private-sector employer in Sarasota County and including the company in the campaign will add more “Truckers Against Trafficking,” — certified commercial driver license holders — on Florida roadways. Click here to read more.
Majority of sex and human trafficking victims in Orange County are Black and Latino, report says
The majority of victims of human and sex trafficking identified by the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force between 2016 and 2020 were Black and Latino, according to a recent report issued by the task force. Each group accounted for 30% of the victims the task force assisted. White people accounted for 19%, Asian and Pacific Island people for 10% and those of “other” or mixed races for 11%. Click here to read more.
Editorial: Yes, human trafficking happens in our community; let’s be vigilant
The interstate that cuts through Longview and other cities in the region has brought economic development, easy access to Louisiana to the east and Dallas to the west and likely innumerable other benefits. Among the lesser known — or discussed — effects of our city’s proximity to Interstate 20 is the problem of human trafficking. It’s an ugly reality, and one many of us might rather not think about. But trafficking is happening in our communities, whether we are aware of it or not. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE APRIL 2021 NEWSLETTER
Human traffickers use transportation corridors to avoid detection: report
Human traffickers are using transportation corridors to exploit more women and girls in Canada, a new report says. The report by The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking found that by continuously moving through cities and provinces sex traffickers keep their victims confused and unable to orient themselves, forcing them to rely on traffickers. The study outlines both inter- and intra-provincial routes that allow traffickers to move victims within and between provinces. Click here to read more.
Seven men charged in northern Minnesota sex trafficking ring
Seven men have been arrested and charged in a northern Minnesota human trafficking ring, according to state investigators. The defendants, including five from Minnesota, were arrested Wednesday through Friday during an undercover operation. They’re being held in jails in Itasca and Pennington counties. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension led the sting in partnership with the Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking Task Force and Itasca County Sheriff’s Office. Click here to read more.
Girls of color, Native girls have been sex trafficked since colonization, slavery
While awareness of sex trafficking has grown, too little attention is given to how this terrible violence impacts girls of color. In Washington, D.C., Courtney’s House is the only survivor-led program serving trafficked youth. Of the young people who receive services from Courtney’s House, 87 percent are girls of color. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER
Class action lawsuit filed against Pornhub by two survivors of childhood sex trafficking
An accomplished assembly of survivor-focused and commercial litigation law firms have jointly filed a class action lawsuit against MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub. The representative class members are two survivors of childhood sex trafficking whose videos and images of their sexual abuse were posted on Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned sites. Click here to read more.
Girl, 14, rescued from Dallas sex trafficking operation, DHS says
The North Texas Trafficking Task Force rescued a 14-year-old girl from a Dallas motel Sunday and arrested a man they say was forcing her to have sex for money. According to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC 5, investigators received information that a possible victim of human trafficking was being held at the Comfort Inn and Suites at 7815 LBJ Freeway in Dallas. Click here to read more.
America’s truckers are an important line of defense against human trafficking
On any given day, there are tens of thousands of people being trafficked into and within the United States. A large percentage of these victims are minors, often young females, who are brutally forced to perform commercial acts of sex or labor against their will. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE FEBRUARY 2021 NEWSLETTER
XPO Logistics partners with Truckers Against Trafficking
XPO Logistics Inc. announced Jan. 11 that it has formed a partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking in an effort to combat the crime. XPO’s $25,000 corporate sponsorship will help by training commercial truck drivers to recognize potential traffickers and victims. Click here to read more.
TAT strengthens Canadian network
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has appointed Heather Mewhinney, director of human resources at Kriska Transportation Group, as the first chairwoman of the newly formed TAT Canada Committee (TCC). Click here to read more.
DOJ reports more Nevada human trafficking cases filed in 2020 than in any previous year
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that more human trafficking cases have been filed in 2020 than in any previous year. “Combating sex trafficking is one of our prosecutors’ top enforcement priorities, and our office now has the pieces in place to stay at the forefront of this fight,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Heading into 2021, we remain committed to increasing investigations and prosecutions of traffickers, taking them off the streets and away from victims.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JANUARY 2021 NEWSLETTER
Breaking news: Visa and Mastercard terminate use of their cards on Pornhub
In another MASSIVE WIN for our united #Traffickinghub movement, Visa and Mastercard have officially terminated the use of their cards on Pornhub after investigating the site for its complicity in the rape and trafficking of women and children. Mastercard stated that they “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site.” Click here to read more.
‘True evil in our midst’: Rise in human trafficking reports as more students learn online
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg believes the rise in human trafficking calls in our area may be linked to students spending more time online during the global pandemic. Click here to read more.
Sinister manipulation, stolen childhood: Inside a Tallahassee child sex trafficking network
Police reports from Tallahassee’s biggest-ever investigation into child sex trafficking paint a heartbreaking picture of a girl barely in her teens forced into a life of prostitution and drugs — with her own mother and others orchestrating her agony. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE DECEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
Sex trafficking survivors speak about abuse at Dodge County strip clubs
Christopher L. Childs, 48, made a career of coercing, threatening and assaulting women, forcing them to work in strips clubs to engage in prostitution with the money going into Childs’ pockets. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison for sex trafficking. Click here to read more.
FBI arrests 28 in Nevada human trafficking sting
A week-long human trafficking sting targeting sex buyers led by the FBI has resulted in 28 arrests. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office says all of the suspects went to a home in South Reno to “knowingly engage in, and pay for, sex acts with a minor.” Click here to read more.
Ashley Moody launches campaign enlisting truck drivers to help stop human trafficking
“In Florida, we are fortunate to have more than 500,000 licensed commercial drivers that serve our communities every day. Not only do they keep our economy moving and haul essential goods, but they also are uniquely positioned to shine a light on traffickers that exploit our transportation system for their horrific crimes,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “I appreciate Attorney General Moody and our trucking industry heroes for prioritizing the fight against human trafficking in our state and on our roadways through this important initiative.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE NOVEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
Florida program encourages truckers to fight human trafficking
Florida officials recently launched the Highway Heroes campaign, which aims to involve truck drivers in the fight to end human trafficking. Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) on Oct. 26 launched the campaign, which aims to enlist 500,000 truckers. Human trafficking, which involves the use of force to obtain labor or a commercial sex act, exploits about 25 million people, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. Click here to read more.
Texas woman sentenced for role in international human trafficking operation with location in Minneapolis
A Texas woman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for her role in an international Thai sex trafficking organization. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 41-year-old Waralee Wanless was sentenced to 144 months (12 years) in prison Wednesday. As proven during a six-week trial and conviction by a federal jury, Wanless participated in a sex trafficking organization that coerced hundreds of women from Bangkok, Thailand to engage in commercial sex acts in cities around the United States, including Minneapolis. Click here to read more.
Separating Fact from Fiction: Recent cases of recovered missing children and what they show about child sex trafficking
In just the past few weeks, law enforcement operations in Georgia, Indiana and Ohio have led to the rescue of some 70-plus children who had been reported missing or were considered endangered. In some cases, charges of sex trafficking have been filed. The public will likely never know a great deal of detail about how these children wound up in these horrible situations – and that’s as it should be. They deserve the privacy to heal. Unfortunately, when information is hard to come by, rumors and misinformation fill in the gaps. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE OCTOBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
Nearly 40 missing children rescued during Georgia sex trafficking bust
More than three dozen children are now safe after being rescued during a sex trafficking bust involving state and federal agents. Click here to read more.
5 arrested for child sex trafficking in South Carolina, making child pornography
South Carolina prosecutors say they’ve arrested a group of suspects–including a husband and wife– who they say were involved in child sex trafficking and making child pornography. Click here to read more.
What we know about how child sex trafficking happens
What most people think they know about child sex trafficking generally involves stories – young girls and boys being kidnapped by strangers, forced into windowless vans, then driven to another city or state where they are kept drugged and chained in a brothel. While situations like these do exist, they are more of an exception than the rule. A study analyzing press releases and online media reports from over a nine-year period found that fewer than10 percent of cases involved kidnapping. The rest were far more complicated, far less “Hollywood.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
Girl, 12, among sex trafficking victims Toronto police identified
A 12-year-old girl. She’s the youngest among the more than 215 sex trafficking victims the Toronto Police Service came into contact with since forming the human trafficking enforcement team in 2014. Click here to read more.
How vigilant truckers can disrupt ‘modern-day slavery’
Confronting the truth about human trafficking in America isn’t easy, but for properly trained truckers, spotting it and taking action can be as simple as picking up the phone.
“It is indeed modern-day slavery,” said Kendis Paris, about human trafficking, the practice that inflicts forced labor or rape onto unwilling participants. As executive director and co-founder of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), Paris seeks to stop the problem through awareness and training, which at times may seem too massive and pervasive a problem to stop. Click here to read more.
Chattanooga’s Street Grace tapped for nationwide training of National Beer Wholesalers Association in campaign to combat human trafficking
Chattanooga’s Street Grace, a faith-based organization with a mission to end Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children throughout the U.S., has been tapped to lead the training for the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s more than 140,000 beer distribution employees in the U.S. to help them recognize and report signs of human trafficking. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE AUGUST 2020 NEWSLETTER
Demand Forum, popular tool to curb sex buying, comes to NCOSE!
Men who buy people for sex provide the revenue stream — and thus the economic motivation — for all prostitution and sex trafficking. Their choice to engage in sex buying is the root of sexual exploitation. Without consumer-level demand, there would be no need for pimps and traffickers. Supply (victims) and distribution (sex traffickers) are symptoms. Demand is the cause. Click here to read more.
Upgrades to TAT’s Freedom Drivers Project include virtual tours
Truckers Against Trafficking is taking advantage of mandated time away from the public circuit to upgrade their Freedom Drivers Project show trailer. “While we would rather be on the road educating the public, we’re excited to have the opportunity to update our training material panel,” TAT Systems Administrator Susan Dold said. Click here to read more.
9 arrested, charged federally in connection to human trafficking operation involving drugs exchanged for sexual access to children
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. The man allegedly exchanged drugs obtained in Columbus and elsewhere for sexual access to the children of drug-addicted mothers. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JULY 2020 NEWSLETTER
Man accused of soliciting woman to molest her 11-year-old child in exchange for help with living expenses
TULSA, OK (KFOR) — A man was in federal court last week for allegedly soliciting a woman to molest her 11-year-old child in exchange for help with living expenses. Thomas James Heiner, of Langley, was charged by criminal complaint with sex trafficking of a child. During a routine traffic stop on May 16, a woman reported to the officer that on multiple occasions a man known as “Sasquatch” offered her cash payments, assistance on car payments, and a place to live if she would allow him to molest her daughter while the two adults had sex. Click here to read more.
Father describes the pain after Mesa teen found dead along I-10, warns of human trafficking
BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Adrian Walker is still coming to grips with the news that his 16-year-old daughter is dead. On May 22, a body was found on the median along Interstate 10 in Buckeye just west of Watson Road. Authorities later identified the body as Anaiah Walker. Click here to read more.
Aggravating circumstances: How coronavirus impacts human trafficking
The coronavirus is not only claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, but is also causing a global economic crisis that is expected to rival or exceed that of any recession in the past 150 years. Although decisive action and containment measures are helping flatten the curve of infection, such measures inevitably deepen and lengthen the economic recession. Poverty, lack of social or economic opportunity and limited labour protections are the main root causes and drivers that render people vulnerable or cause them to fall victim to human trafficking. This unprecedented crisis will likely exacerbate all of those factors … Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JUNE 2020 NEWSLETTER
Mississippi Trucking Association presented Truckers Against Trafficking Champion Award
Truckers Against Trafficking Executive Director Kendis Paris recently presented The Mississippi Trucking Association with the 2020 TAT Champion Award in the Association category. Click here to read more.
Man arrested in Denton during human trafficking sting
An anti-human trafficking sting led to the arrest of a 30-year-old man April 23 in Denton, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. William Adam Jonathan Smith, 30, was charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking. Click here to read more.
DOT doubles progress in human trafficking fight
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) more than doubled a goal staked out earlier this year to get 100 pledges in 100 days to raise awareness of human trafficking in the transportation sector. Over 200 companies and organizations answered the call for the effort that DOT Secretary Elaine Chao made in January. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MAY 2020 NEWSLETTER
Sasse urges Barr to open sex-trafficking investigation into Pornhub
Sen. Ben Sasse Tuesday demanded Attorney General William P. Barr investigate adult video giant Pornhub for allegedly facilitating human trafficking. “In several notable incidents over the past year, Pornhub made content available worldwide showing women and girls that were victims of trafficking being raped and exploited,” the Nebraska Republican wrote in a letter to Mr. Barr. Click here to read more.
Eight Northeast Tennessee men charged in human trafficking investigation
Over a two-day period beginning March 12, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in East TN, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. As a result of the operation, detectives and agents arrested eight men and identified four potential victims. Click here to read more.
Human trafficking under reported
The number of victims of human trafficking in this state is disproportionate among Native Americans, according to the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force. However, they acknowledge there are gaps in data, which is leading to gaps in resources. According to the task force, 436 victims have been served since 2016. But that number is much higher than reported, because the task force doesn’t have data from tribal nations. And those nations aren’t getting necessary coverage to help the problem. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER
Human trafficking creates liability concerns for businesses
A federal civil suit seeks damages from 12 hotel chains for allegedly ignoring warning signs of human trafficking in violation of federal laws. A briefing paper written by a national law firm says any business could face millions of dollars in damages if they are found to have benefited from “human trafficking if they know or should have known about such exploitation.” Click here to read more.
Pornhub reportedly profits from nonconsensual videos and real rape tapes – here are the latest examples
It’s no secret that Pornhub is one of the biggest free porn sites in the world. But what is lesser-known is exactly what kind of illicit and illegal videos this porn giant profits from. The site has been in the news in the last few months for a range of reasons, but not for the reasons you might expect — they’ve gotten press from Kanye West’s porn habit confession to their “conservation efforts.” Click here to read more.
We’re doing what we can to keep truckers on the road
We run a truck stop. It feels like we’re living in a country on the cusp of something not unlike war. My mother was born into a flu-stricken household at the height of the flu pandemic of 1918. Within minutes she was swaddled in a homemade quilt and placed into the arms of the local priest who had come to deliver last rites to my grandmother and, they feared, to the baby as well. She cried lustily, like any healthy newborn. To keep her safe from the illness, the priest and his driver took her from the family farm to the nearby town of Stuart, Neb., to find someone to care for her. Fear of the killer virus was so strong that three women said no before one agreed to take her in. During the weeks that my grandparents and their other children were sick with the flu, neighbors wearing cotton kerchiefs across their faces left food on their doorstep and cared for their livestock. Now another pandemic marches across the country. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MARCH 2020 NEWSLETTER
How human traffickers are recruiting victims in a digital age
The way most traffickers first reach their victims is not like Hollywood movies lead you to believe – a dramatic abduction of a child walking home from school. Experts describe the way traffickers typically target kids or teens as pretty subtle. It can happen in schools, at the mall, or anywhere. However, nowadays, it most commonly begins with just one click, like, or friend request. Click here to read more.
The clothes aren’t what’s for sale in this chilling fashion campaign
Yesterday, five young women stood in a shop window on Toronto’s busy Queen Street West, seemingly modeling fashions. Names were lettered on the glass, and at first glance, they seemed to refer to the outfits: “The Ellie,” “The Amara,” “The Samantha,” “The Maya” and “The Michaela.” As passersby approached, however, they were greeted by a sign proclaiming, “To sex traffickers, girls are just products.” Click here to read more.
A solution to human trafficking? Stop the men who pay for it
The demand for commercial sex is higher on the Western Slope than anywhere else in Colorado, according to Dr. Angie Henderson. That’s been the case since 2015, when Henderson’s firm Avery Research and Consulting began studying the demand side of human sex trafficking. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE FEBRUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER
Truckers fighting human trafficking are trained to be alert to late-night knocks
NBC News – Brian Sprowel has seen a lot in his nearly 40 years as a professional truck driver. He’s been to every state except Hawaii and has logged nearly 4 million miles across America’s highways. But from his seat behind the wheel, he sometimes sees a much darker side of the country. Click here to read more.
UPS strengthens fight against sex slavery
UPS, which has already trained its over-the-road drivers on the signs of human trafficking and action steps to take, now plans on training neighborhood, small-package drivers with Truckers Against Trafficking training materials. Click here to read more.
New NC law means school workers must be trained to spot signs of human trafficking
All North Carolina school districts must pick by Wednesday an employee training program for reporting and preventing child sexual abuse and sex trafficking. The new training requirements are part of an overhaul of the state’s sexual assault laws that include making it a Class 1 misdemeanor for anyone age 18 or over to fail to notify the authorities when he or she suspects or knows that a child is being physically or sexually abused, the News & Observer previously reported. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JANUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER
LVMPD: Learn the subtle signs of human trafficking in busy areas
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — This is the time of the year families head out to a lot of crowded holiday events, go shopping and step outside of their normal routine. That’s why the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is urging families to talk to children, especially teens. Click here to read more.
6,000 men pledge to end sex trafficking in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — A local nonprofit is working to have 6,000 men take a pledge to end sex trafficking. The campaign precedes next summer’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, an event that will draw tens of thousands of people to southeast Wisconsin. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE DECEMBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
Truckers can slam the brakes on human trafficking/opinion
by Eric Higgs for Newsweek
FBI agents recently arrested 67 suspected sex traffickers as part of a nationwide operation.
This effort, which relied on contributions from dozens of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, is encouraging. Still, more must be done to stem the rising tide of human trafficking in our country. Click here to read more.
Manager of MGM Cabaret arrested in connection to sex trafficking hub, prostitution sting
SAN ANTONIO — The manager of MGM Cabaret was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection to a sex trafficking hub and prostitution ring at a Southwest Bexar County strip club.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said Ronnie Elizondo, 39, knew about the prostitution ring at MGM Cabaret, located along I-35 in Von Ormy. Investigators said Elizondo, a manager that handled the day-to-day operations of the facility, failed to report the prostitution by dancers working in a back room of the strip club. Click here to read more.
Basketball legend Jim Farmer arrested in sex trafficking bust
Former University of Alabama basketball player, James (Jim) Farmer has been arrested in Tennessee after an undercover human trafficking investigation, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. He has been charged with trafficking a person for a commercial sex act. Farmer played University of Alabama basketball under Wimp Sanderson from 1983 to 1987 before he was the first-round draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE NOVEMBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
The dangers of rebranding prostitution as ‘sex work’
In an extract from her new book, Pimp State, activist Kat Banyard argues that prostitution is sexual exploitation. Decriminalizing this industry only legitimizes the abuse of women. Click here to read more.
More than soap – it’s a lifeline
Worldwide, an estimated 2 million trafficked children are forced into prostitution, including up to 300,000 of whom are spread throughout every state in the United States. Tragically, reputable hotels often serve as the setting for their exploitation. Click here to read more.
FACT: Decriminalizing prostitution increases human trafficking
Researchers from the LSE did a study of 150 countries and found that there’s more human trafficking where prostitution is legal/decriminalized. A study for the European Parliament came to the same conclusion, and so does economic theory. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE OCTOBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
Truckers Against Trafficking expands mission to Canada
A new partnership aims to fight human trafficking in Canada. Truckers Against Trafficking is partnering with the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking to raise awareness of both the issue and a new hotline for reporting trafficking to Canadian authorities. As trafficking is a global problem, and with the natural industry overlap between the U.S. and Canadian borders, TAT is indeed expanding its programming into Canada,” said Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking. Click here to read more.
Every two minutes, a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation and human trafficking
Every two minutes, a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation, according to a report from Unicef. Perhaps more disturbing, according to Shared Hope International, is that child victims might be raped, or used for sex for money, by 6,000 men over the course of a five-night-per-week schedule. Click here to read more.
How to look out for signs of grooming for sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse is unfortunately common. According to Amy Pumo, the Director of Clinical Services at the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18. That is no small number of kids. And while you don’t want to think about that happening to your kid, being aware of the signs of sexual abuse and sexual predators is deeply important. One of the most common ways that a child is sexually abused, after all, involves people the family already knows. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
Panama City police help bust multi-state human trafficking ring
A joint-investigation performed by Panama City Police and the FBI has ended with the arrest of a Pensacola man and the dismantling of a human trafficking ring. Click here to read more.
Judge sentences sex trafficker to more than 26 years in prison
A convicted sex trafficker whose victim told hospital personnel in late 2015 that she’d “rather die than keep going back to that man” was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to 26 years and eight months in federal prison. Click here to read more.
‘Operation Broken Heart’: 38 suspected child sex offenders arrested in Aurora
Police say more than three dozen suspected online child sex offenders were arrested in Aurora during “Operation Broken Heart.” The nationwide operation was led by the US Department of Justice and resulted in nearly 1,700 arrests during April and May. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE AUGUST 2019 NEWSLETTER
Undertow of exploitation: how teens get trapped in human trafficking
Her story began like so many others, with an exploitation of trust. Edie Rhea is a survivor of sex trafficking. Her formative years were largely spent being sold for sex by her mother’s boyfriend. It began when she was 10 and lasted until she was 17 years old. Click here to read more.
Anti-human trafficking apps increase awareness and action from churches to truck stops
The United Nations (UN) wants to end slavery by 2030. Slavery is the second largest criminal industry in the world — tied with arms dealing — with 40 million people in some form of servitude and profits of $150 billion in 2015. This will require action from individual citizens, government leaders, and corporate executives. Technology is often used to enable human trafficking, but leaders from all sectors of the tech world are starting to use this same power to help stop sexual exploitation and forced labor. Click here to read more.
2019 Trafficking in Persons Report
The 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report is available in PDF and HTML formats. The PDF is available as a complete one-piece file and as individual sections for easier download. To view the PDF files, you will need to download, at no cost, the Adobe Acrobat Reader. To request a hard copy of the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, please email TIPOutreach@state.gov and provide your mailing address. Please note that due to high demand, your order may not be processed right away. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JULY 2019 NEWSLETTER
Human trafficking survivor: ‘We’re the girls you find dead in rivers and dumpsters.’
It’s the “Super Bowl of horseracing” but the Kentucky Derby has a dark side so disturbing it almost defies belief. Louisville is a sleepy city on the Ohio River in the midwest state of Kentucky, US. It’s the kind of place where locals call strangers “sir” or “ma’am” and tip their hats as they pass by. Click here to read more.
Hospital staff find themselves on the front lines of war on human trafficking
Dawn Culp has been an emergency room nurse at Bayhealth for more than 25 years but says she never had enough resources to focus on human trafficking — until now. Throughout the hospital’s hallways are small stickers and flyers with the national hotline number for human trafficking. “I post them everywhere,” Culp said. Click here to read more.
Fire lieutenant arrested for human trafficking, sex crimes against children
An East Lake Fire Rescue firefighter was arrested on human trafficking and other charges on Thursday. Matthew Doyle, 39, was arrested by FDLE agents in Spring Hill. He faces charges of human trafficking, lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim between 12 and 16 years old and unlawful use of a two-way communications device. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JUNE 2019 NEWSLETTER
82 arrested in massive, multistate child exploitation sting
A high school band director. A youth group leader. A fireman. A county leader.
All are among the 82 people, including 31 in Georgia, who have been arrested and accused of sexually exploiting children in a multistate sting. The sting, dubbed Operation Southern Impact III, was spread over three days recently and across eight southern states from Florida to West Virginia. Click here to read more.
Florida House passes bill on teaching human trafficking
Children in Florida public schools would be taught about the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking under a bill passed by the state House. Click here to read more.
Woman sentenced to 18 years for repeatedly taking girl from school to be raped in motel
On Friday, a jury in Travis County convicted a woman on two counts of trafficking a person and one count of indecency with a child following an outcry of child sex abuse. In April of 2018, an 11-year-old child said Maria Miranda-Aguirre, a trusted family friend, would remove her from her school and take her to a motel where she was repeatedly sexually abused by Miranda-Aguirre’s boyfriend. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MAY 2019 NEWSLETTER
Why men pay for sex, and why they shouldn’t
When Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, was charged with two first-degree misdemeanor counts of soliciting a prostitute at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor, the question on many lips was, ‘Why would a wealthy, famous man risk his reputation to pay for sex?’ Click here to read more.
Silk exotic strip club co-owner under investigation in federal sex trafficking case
A federal sex trafficking investigation now includes the co-owner of a downtown Milwaukee strip club. Radomir Buzdum co-owns Silk Exotic, as well as a club in Dodge County where investigators say he knew women were being trafficked. Click here to read more.
‘Modern-Day Slavery’: 3 Philadelphia hotels sued for allegedly turning a blind eye to teen sex trafficking
Lawyers claim several local hotels helped sex traffickers enslave young girls in what they call a rampant sex slave business. The two men convicted as ringleaders of the human sex trafficking rings are serving lengthy prison sentences and now lawyers are turning their focus on the hotels. The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks to hold the owners and parent companies of three Philadelphia hotels responsible for what it alleges are human sex trafficking rings, that happened right under their noses. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE APRIL 2019 NEWSLETTER
Sector-specific messaging key to fighting human trafficking, committee told
Training materials on the subject of human trafficking are most effective when tailored to specific industry sectors, said Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking.
Paris’ comments March 12 marked the second public meeting of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. She serves as chairwoman of the agency’s subcommittee on training and awareness. Click here to read more.
To catch sex traffickers and protect kids, Colorado is using a new screening tool statewide
It hardly matters whether the child’s been gone 24 hours or three months. When a teen in the foster care system runs away and is found, a 2017 state law requires caseworkers to screen them for sex trafficking. They had 151 of those conversations in the law’s first year. Here’s what they didn’t ask: “How long were you sex trafficked and by whom?” Click here to read more.
Woman charged with selling 2-year-old for sex leads police to child molestation suspect
His name is Michael Lowry and when we rang, he answered the door to his Southeast Houston home. He confirmed who he was. “Are you Michael Lowry?” I asked. “Yeah,” was his reluctant reply. According to court documents this started last year with an investigation by the Montgomery County DA’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. They intercepted a woman named Sarah Peters who was heading to Conroe “who agreed to allow an adult male to engage in sexual intercourse with her two-year-old daughter in exchange for $1,200.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE MARCH 2019 NEWSLETTER
Woman sues Portland motel for $4 million, alleging pimps operated there unfettered
A woman who says she’s a victim of sex trafficking has filed a $4 million lawsuit against a Portland motel, alleging it failed to prevent pimps from forcing her to have sex with countless men at the motel for more than a year. Click here to read more.
No safety in the suburbs: child sex traffickers prey on innocence
No doubt, when you hear the term “sex trafficking” or “sex worker” you probably have an image of a certain type of girl. And although it’s true that girls in the foster care system are the most at risk, experts now say girls in the suburbs and even rural areas are more vulnerable than ever. And that is Jessika’s story. Click here to read more.
Utah Attorney General says human trafficking remains a problem
SALT LAKE CITY — Although it is often thought of as a foreign issue, there is still a large problem with human trafficking in Utah, the state’s top law enforcer says. “Human trafficking, modern-day slavery, has never been in greater number than it is today,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said during a panel discussion Tuesday. Yet “more than ever, we have new and emerging assets in the fight, new technologies, new techniques, new partnerships that give me a lot of hope.” Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE FEBRUARY 2019 NEWSLETTER
Truckers Against Trafficking has saved more than 1K victims
Truckers Against Trafficking is an organization that teaches drivers to recognize the signs of human trafficking and has helped rescue more than 1,100 victims. The organization’s education mobile landed in the nation’s capital this weekend to spread the word about a nationwide problem. (Editor’s note: The survivor artifacts in the Freedom Drivers Project exhibit are not from cases resulting from TAT calls.) Click here to read more.
Human trafficker at London Olympics gets 30-year prison sentence in U.S.
An “evil” man who tried to traffic a teenage boy into London to be sold for sex during the 2012 Olympics has been sentenced to 30 years in a U.S. prison, in a case of human trafficking that draws attention during international sporting events. Click here to read more.
New laws ramp up protection for human trafficking victims
On Tuesday, more than 250 new laws will take effect in Illinois, two of which will increase protections for victims of human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking — including involuntary servitude and labor trafficking — will be allowed to sue their captors for damages, will have a longer window of time to do so and will be paid for turning them in to police. Click here to read more.
ARTICLES FROM THE JANUARY 2019 NEWSLETTER
DOT’s committee against human trafficking holds first meeting
WASHINGTON — Targeted outreach efforts and training are key to reaching industry representatives who can aid in the fight against human trafficking, according to Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking.
Paris is one member of the 15-person Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation in October. The group’s goal is to develop strategies for reporting human trafficking and craft recommendations for DOT-funded programs to combat the issue. Click here to read more.
4 ways the US can take the lead in the fight against human trafficking
The US Senate recently endorsed the nomination of long-standing civil rights prosecutor, John Cotton Richmond, as new Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. This statutory post, created under the Clinton administration, has been critical in shaping the outsize role that the US has occupied in pushing the rest of the world to do something about what is now commonly termed ‘modern slavery.’ But the position comes with heavy baggage. As the ambassador takes the helm, he should not underestimate the formidable task ahead of him. Click here to read more.
Part Four: A look at ‘Johns,’ the men whose demand drives our sex-trafficking problem
Sex trafficking, a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry, exists because a significant number of men in our community are willing to pay for sex with people, mostly women but also men, who have been coerced into doing so. It’s simple economic logic – without demand, an industry falls apart – but it’s often overlooked in conversations that focus on the victims and the traffickers.
In this installment, we look at the Johns, whose demand for commercial sex has driven the trafficking industry. We take a look at who Johns are, the question of the “victimless crime,” how law enforcement treats Johns, and some deeper social questions posed by sex trafficking. Click here to read more.