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.
Colorado Colorado Leading the Way Over and over again Collective Liberty hears how difficult it can be to successfully prosecute human trafficking cases. In 2018 and 2019 we worked with Denver DA Lara Mullins around best practices for working with victims from IMB, residential brothel, and domestic minor trafficking, assisted with best practices for a new ordinance, and general consulting support. The Denver DA and PD offices have embraced this and then some – successfully closing over 40 cases and have another open 38 cases. Potential trafficking victims are routinely connected to culturally appropriate service providers who help victims understand their rights in the U.S. justice system and start to break the lies of traffickers. We are so proud of DA Mullins and her team!
Montana 9 Arrested in Buyer Operations in Yellowstone County Unlike the popular show “Yellowstone” those involved in exploiting and trafficking children are facing consequences. The Billings Police Department recently conducted an operation that targeted men trying to purchase sex with minors. Collective Liberty is proud to have trained the Billings Police Department this summer and continues to work with law and code enforcement, as well as policymakers, working to make Montana trafficking free.
Kentucky Kentucky Attorney Charged with Human Trafficking A Kentucky (private) attorney has been charged with 4 counts of human trafficking and 1 of bribing a witness. Officers say they received information regarding Poole from the investigation of former Campbell County District Judge Tim Nolan, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to human trafficking charges involving both women and underage girls in 2018.
Florida Arrest Made of Trafficker at Superbowl A Connecticut man recruited two adult women and one minor to come to Florida for “fun.” The fun turned out to be sexual exploitation and trafficking for the Superbowl. The man planned to follow additional large crowd events such as Mardi Gras and NBA Playoffs with his victims. The trafficker faces up to life in prison for his crimes. Collective Liberty is proud to have supported intelligence operations during the Superbowl that allow law enforcement to swiftly, and more efficiently, prosecute crimes like this.
Mississippi Mississippi Continues to Identify and Support Victims Collective Liberty is proud to have worked with, and trained, members of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations. Mississippi continues to quietly, and continually, refuse to arrest potential victims and instead focus on exploiters and traffickers.
Texas El Paso Shutters Another IMB Through the work of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), El Paso Vice Unit, and the District Attorney’s Office, El Paso has identified another potential human trafficking venue and shuttered the illicit massage business (IMB). Combining criminal prosecution of traffickers and civil penalties to cut off their cash flow by barring their ability to do business has consistently proven successful at permanently disrupting human trafficking networks and Collective Liberty is proud to continue to work with El Paso.
New York Upstate NY IMB Shuttered for Trafficking Police in Malnius, NY shuttered a massage business with clear signs of human trafficking – the two women who worked in the business were required to live onsite and spoke limited English. Like previous times the women were charged to force them to appear in court and give up their traffickers in order to “help them get out of that business.”
Florida Pensacola Shutters 4 IMBs One worker has been arrested and all her personal information identified. It appears law enforcement closed the businesses based on being offered sexual services with “no prompting” from the officers. It does not appear that there has been work done to identify trafficking networks, although last year multiple IMBs were identified and closed as fronts for human trafficking and money laundering.
Oregon Grants Pass Makes Arrests at IMB. The human trafficking task force in Grants Pass, Oregon identified a potential illicit massage business engaged in human trafficking. Unfortunately they did still arrest, and provide the name, of a potential victim. Luckily the charges against her were dropped but her name, and possibly photo, are now public. The owner had outstanding charges in Virginia – a possible indication of multi-state networks.
Florida Polk County Arrests Over 102 in Undercover Operation Ina recent operation law enforcement in Polk County conducted an operation to deter human trafficking. During the operation 38 “who offered to commit prostitution”, otherwise known as potential victims were arrested, along with 64 buyers.
North Carolina Horry County Arrests Potential Victims Again. At best the women arrested were consensual sex workers attempting to make end’s meet but our research, and survivor leaders, would indicate that there is a strong chance that at least one is a victim of sex trafficking.
Cult Involved in Human Trafficking The United Nation of Islam, based in Kansas, has been charged with, among other things, trafficking youth through force, fraud, and coercion. Children were forced to work at the cult’s businesses for long hours without pay and were forbidden from attending school.
Climate Disasters and Worker Abuse As America, and the world, experience more and more climate disasters (severe fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) there is a need for people to come and repair the damage. This need is often filled by vulnerable migrant workers who are subject to exploitation and abuse – making this fledgling industry ripe for traffickers.
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