|View this email in your browser|
We monitor and fact-check media coverage of human trafficking and share the top cases with you from each week. A broad view of what is happening across the country can be translated into action, allowing us to collectively change the system and the public narrative.
We help law enforcement understand how to identify sex and labor trafficking operations and target both traffickers and buyers. Let’s shift our focus from potential victims to buyers and traffickers.
Texas 17 buyer suspects arrested in prostitution sting Several law enforcement agencies conducted an operation in Fort Bend County targeting “johns” soliciting sex for money online. The operation’s goal, in partnership with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, was to arrest sex buyers to reduce the demand for exploited human trafficking victim
Tennessee 7 men arrested after Northeast Tennessee joint human trafficking investigation Seven men accused of attempting to solicit sex from minors after a joint Northeast Tennessee investigation. Human trafficking is embedded into our economies, crossing sectors, and industries, especially the hospitality industry. Traffickers often take advantage of the privacy and anonymity accessible through hotels and motels. It is crucially important for hospitality employees to be aware of human trafficking signs and report to the police as soon as possible.
Texas Man Charged With Sex Trafficking 14-Year-Old Girl Officers say the girl who was reported missing by Dallas police has been rescued from an alleged sex trafficking operation. Lake Worth officers found her at the Great Western Inn in a room with 50-year-old Jesse Lee Manuel. She had been trafficked, drugged with methamphetamine, and sexually assaulted.
Maryland Baltimore Man Facing Federal Charges for Sex Trafficking of a Minor The young female that Robinson had brought to the hotel to engage in commercial sex with the undercover agent was identified as a 14-year-old 8th grader.
California High-End Apartments in Milpitas Transformed Into Brothels Tied to Human Trafficking A series of high-end apartments were transformed into brothels in the heart of Silicon Valley and the two people who prosecutors say ran it is set to be tried on human trafficking charges. The deputy DA said this was part three of a two-year investigation where dozens of women were brought in from overseas and forced into sex labor. And neighbors say they had no idea what was happening in their complexes.
Nebraska Grand Island man convicted of sex trafficking A Grand Island man accused of drugging and beating women he sold for sex has been convicted on two felony charges. 34-year-old Hassan Aden was convicted on two counts of felony Labor/Sex trafficking.
California GirlsDoPorn actor sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking, conspiracy In December, Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, coercion, and fraud, and admitted his role as a recruiter and performer with GirlsDoPorn.com and GirlsDoToys.com from 2013 to 2017. Authorities said the company lured young women who had never appeared in adult films. U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino said the victims were treated as “disposable commodities.”
Massage parlor trafficking is an insidious form of trafficking that is incredibly organized and difficult to eradicate across the nation.
California 2 individuals found dead at Costa Mesa massage parlor, in a strip mall with a rocky past Costa Mesa police are investigating the deaths of a man and woman whose bodies were discovered at a massage parlor inside a Fair Drive complex that’s been in the city’s crosshairs for years for ongoing illicit activities. “This has been a problem site for, gosh, 10 years or more,” said former Mayor Katrina Foley, now a county supervisor. “The police have done so many undercover investigations at that site — there are multiple legal actions. I’m also concerned about human trafficking [that might be going on there].” Check out our recent blog posts on Massage Parlor Trafficking: FACTS AND STATISTICS, Indicators of massage parlor trafficking, and Recruiting women into Illicit Massage Business.
Missouri St. Louis County massage business accused of human trafficking Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office sued a St. Louis County massage business for alleged human trafficking. The Crestwood Police Department gathered reports from men who went to Royal Day Spa and claimed they paid money for sexual favors. The lawsuit alleges two counts of public nuisance and seeks an injunction to shut down Royal Day Spa
We cannot arrest potential victims and then expect their cooperation in criminal cases. These arrests also limit survivors’ options; these victims often cannot obtain housing, livable wages, and other basic needs with arrests and convictions on their records.
Rhode Island 11 in custody after police raid 6 massage parlors in prostitution sting Detectives simultaneously executed search warrants at all six businesses, 11 people were taken into custody, nearly all of them women. Cranston Police Col. Michael Winquist said he expects some will be charged with massaging without a license and he’s not sure if they will face any additional charges, based on the circumstances. “We are concerned that some of the women at these locations are victims and are working here against their will,” Winquist explained.
WHAT THE TECH? Federal report shows Facebook is a major source for sex traffickers In a majority of those prosecuted federal cases, sex traffickers went online to find their victims and of those, nearly 70% used Facebook to target minors. One of the key takeaways is that it can happen fast and even with parents who are nearby. “It happens so quickly. That they can kind of just get hooked in and start feeling that they’ve made a friend, and that is really all it takes,” said Lindsey Roberson, the director of legal engagement for the Human Trafficking Institute. Trafficking Indicators in Amazon warehouses:
Watch our Facebook Live and learn more about Amazon’s Warehouses’ exploitative labor practices. Thomson Reuters reporters talked to more than a dozen former workers in Amazon warehouses in Mexico and found that many had to work overtime beyond legal limits while others were let go without severance, forced to resign, or laid off after falling ill with COVID-19.
JOIN US >>