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.
Canada: Canada-wide warrant issued for man suspected of sex trafficking 12-year-old girl – A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for 28-year-old Kemron Alexander in connection with the sex trafficking of a 12-year-old victim. The suspect is still at large.
Colorado: 7 Arrested In Mesa County Internet Child Sex Predator Sting – Police arrested 7 buyers, none were charged with human trafficking.
Florida: Gainesville woman accused of attempted human sex trafficking – A woman was arrested for attempting to sex traffic another woman, saying she’d manage her pornography career, then tried to demand the woman involve in commercial sex work to “pay for” $600 salon services the defendant had paid for. The victim reached out to police for help.
Mississippi: Man, woman indicted for interstate sex trafficking in multiple states – A California man and a Nevada woman have been indicted for sex trafficking an adult woman across multiple states. Ohio: Summit County Sheriff’s Office investigating human trafficking reports at Akron tent city – Multiple victims have been identified and an investigation is ongoing into reports of human trafficking within a homeless encampment in Akron, Ohio.
Mount Pleasant man accused of sex trafficking minor allegedly spent $45K for sex acts, drugs – A former CEO of a prominent auditing firm is seeking to suppress evidence in a human trafficking case against him. His attorney argues that evidence gathered from an iPhone while returning from a trip to the Bahamas was collected without a warrant and should be inadmissible. This allegedly includes videos of him commercially exploiting the minor victim, messages requesting other underage victims, and visiting commercial sex-related sites over 800 times. The victim was identified when she went to the hospital for appendicitis and shared with medical personnel she was forced to have sex with ten to fifteen men per day.
Texas: 9 men arrested in sex sting in Kerr County
Texas: Police arrest human trafficker, rescue 16-year-old in Fort Worth – Police received a tip that a 16-year-old runaway was being advertised for commercial sex online. They were able to pose as buyers and arrest the trafficker at the hotel. We’re proud to have trained the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Unit and to see their arrest.
Alabama: Montgomery man found guilty of sex trafficking charges – A man who sex trafficked multiple victims, including a minor, used blackmail, violence, and access to illicit drugs as control methods. He was found guilty of charges relating to sex trafficking and coercing victims to engage in prostitution and is awaiting sentencing. He faces 15 years to life in prison.
California: Arrests made in ‘large-scale’ Tulare County drug, human trafficking investigation – A sex trafficking victim contacted police, leading to a larger investigation that identified a human trafficking and drug trafficking ring in central California. Multiple victims have been identified, including minors, and police seized 3,760 marijuana plants, 268 pounds of processed marijuana, 615 pounds of semi-processed marijuana, eight firearms, 5 grams of cocaine and 10 pounds of concentrated cannabis.
Indiana: Man sentenced to 9 years for creating ads, price list to offer up teen for sex – A man was sentenced to 9 years for sex trafficking a 16-year-old across Indiana and Illinois. The victim was identified outside of a hotel where she admitted to renting a room with a fake ID. She said she was under the control of a trafficker who had promised her the ability to make money. Despite the trafficker’s denials, messages sent through an app called TextNow helped lead to his conviction.
Indiana: Huntington woman pleads guilty to child trafficking – An Indiana woman has pled guilty after sex trafficking a teen girl, age 13-15 during the exploitation, to her boyfriend and other men. She faces a sentence of 3 to 16 years. Her co-defendants have received 30 years and 12 years, respectively.
North Carolina – Former Davidson nail salon owner sentenced to prison in human trafficking, forced labor case – A North Carolina woman labor trafficked a Vietnamese victim at Luxury Nail Salon in Charlotte. The business owner claimed the victim owed her $180,000, blackmailed her, beat the victim with nail tools, and poured acetone on her. Despite her lack of criminal record, the defendant was successfully convicted, sentenced to 15 years in prison, and ordered to pay $74,626 in restitution to the victim.
Ohio: Canton man who ran sex trafficking house gets 15-year prison term – A man pled guilty to running a sex-trafficking operation with two other defendants, sex trafficking two adult women out of a home in Canton, Ohio. The traffickers forced victims to ingest drugs like heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, eventually using the addictions they created to control victims. He was sentenced to 15 years and ordered to pay $1,885 in restitution to each victim, and $5,000 in a special assessment fee to support survivors of human trafficking.
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Man Convicted Of Sex Trafficking A Minor On Backpage.Com – A man has finally been convicted for the 2016 sex trafficking of a minor he groomed over social media. He took sexually exploitative pictures of the victim and uploaded them to Backpage.com, then sex trafficked her using coercion and violence. The victim was able to escape after multiple weeks and speak to law enforcement, but he was officially charged after the FBI seized Backpage.com in 2018.
Texas: Man Sentenced to 30+ Years for Sex Trafficking 14-Year-Old, Adult out of Dallas Hotel – We are proud of our Partner Agency for this great work. A man has been sentenced to over thirty years for sex trafficking a 14-year-old victim, and an adult woman. He recruited the adult woman over Facebook, saying he wanted to be her boyfriend. He then demanded she engage in commercial sex to “pay back” money he had spent on her, requiring at least $1,000 per day. The defendant recruited the minor victim in a parking lot after running away from her parents. He promised her a modeling job and a safe place to stay, then gave her drugs and began sex trafficking her. The trafficker threatened both victims with weapons and said he’d kill them and their families if they turned him in. Financial records, social media records, and other kinds of data were used to strengthen this case.
Washington: Ellensburg man sentenced for child sex trafficking – A man who responded to a sting where investigators posed as minors being offered for commercial sex has been sentenced to 6 years in jail.
Minnesota: Workers’ rights group calls on Twin Cities developers to help stop worker abuse. – Non-union construction workers are at severe risk for exploitation, say the workers rights group Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha. The organization is asking for developers to voluntarily join a basic work standars agreement to ensure workers are paid what was promised and free from abuse.
Oregon: Human trafficking a major problem in Southern Oregon’s illegal cannabis industry, according to officials – Wage theft, violence, and human trafficking are rampant in the illegal cannabis industry of Southern Oregon according to experts at a recent panel for the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. . Many workers are undocumented and afraid to speak up, meaning they cannot come forward when they are abused or identify illegal activity.
Indiana: Police investigating human trafficking, sexual solicitation at massage businesses in St. Joseph County – We’re proud of this excellent work by Indiana Police, some of whomtook our training last summer. South Bend Police are investigating four IMBs and a residence owned by the same individual. The potential victims were forced to live on-premises. Police spent 14 hours searching the building, seizing boxes of financial records, and interviewing customers and 12 potential victims with Mandarin Chinese translators. Two victims have requested services.
Washington:Woman arrested at Renton massage parlor on felony charges – A woman in Washington was able to call 911, saying she was being held against her will at a local massage parlor and was being forced to provide sexual services. The human trafficking victim was extracted and the owner of the spa was arrested for promoting prostitution.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE >>
Georgia: Multiple people arrested on prostitution charges during raids of two Brookhaven massage parlors – Four women were arrested and charged with prostitution and practicing massage without a license. Two men were arrested for pandering and one woman was arrested for keeping a place of prostitution. Despite this being framed as an anti-human trafficking investigation, there is no evidence that this was investigated as a potential human trafficking course or that the potential victims received services. It’s clear how ineffective these tactics are as this is a repeat operation, the same police department arrested six women for prostitution at the same IMBs a year prior.
New York: Police: Two women and one man arrested in Secaucus prostitution bust last week – Two women were arrested for prostitution, and one man was arrested for promoting prostitution. There was no indication that this was investigated as a potential human trafficking case or that potential victims received services.
New York: Two women arrested in Dix Hills massage parlor raid – Two women were arrested at massage parlors and charged with prostitution and practicing a profession without a license. Again, there was no indication that this was investigated as a potential human trafficking case or that services were offered.
Missouri: Investigators sort through fact and fiction of human trafficking
Malawi: UN uncovers human trafficking at camp in Malawi – The Dzaleka Refugee Camp, the largest refugee camp in the East African country, is home to 50,000 refugees. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and local police have identified rampant labor and sex trafficking and are struggling to investigate and prosecute traffickers due to deeply fearful victims.
Ohio: New law expands human trafficking charge – The definition of human trafficking under Ohio law now explicitly lists “luring someone with drugs, forcing them to use drugs, or manipulating them through addiction” as a means of coercion.
Portugal: Portugal urged to do more to identify human trafficking victims
Texas: McLennan County detective receives award over fight to end human trafficking, child exploitation – Detective Detective Joseph Scaramucci was nominated by Collective Liberty for his fantastic work fighting human trafficking. Congratulations, Joe!
US: A survivor of human trafficking shares her harrowing story to help others – Founder of the JFAM Foundation and Survivor Leader Cyntoia Brown Long is speaking to youth audiences about her experiences as a victim of sex trafficking from 13 to 16, and her criminalization after shooting a threatening buyer at age 16. Ms. Brown Long was convicted of the buyer’s murder and served fifteen years in prison before her life sentence was commuted.
JOIN US >>