• July 31, 2022
  • forgingfreed0m
  • HT News

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. 

Alabama: Homeland Security operation nets dozens of human trafficking-related arrests during The World Games – Collective Liberty was grateful to help support many partner organizations and agencies to perform anti-human trafficking operations for the World Games. The operation netted 34 arrests of sex buyers, 6 on human trafficking charges, 8 for online enticement and traveling to have sex with a minor, as well as an arrest of a fugitive and a bevy of outstanding warrants. Importantly, the operation identified 15 adult victims of sex trafficking, two minor victims of sex trafficking, seven adult labor trafficking victims, and four minor victims of labor trafficking.
Florida: Lake County sergeant arrested on solicitation of prostitution – A police sergeant turned himself in to police after the Special Investigation Unit investigated a tip that there was a Lake County officer paying for commercial sex. The tip was substantiated through digital forensics and interview, including at least one incident that happened while he was on duty.
Florida: Interlachen man arrested for sex trafficking teenage girl –  A Florida man has been arrested and charged with sexual assault and battery among other charges. He is accused of sex trafficking a minor for two years, selling Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSAM) he created via social media, and sexually exploiting another underage girl.
Florida: Vero Beach man, Palm Bay woman charged with human trafficking of underaged girls – A Florida sex buyer and a 19-year-old woman are accused of recruiting three vulnerable underage girls, two of whom were living in foster care settings for commercial sex. They also produced CSAM of the exploitation and seemed to have sold some of the content on Only Fans.
Georgia: Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit arrests two for alleged roles in trafficking a teen – Two men have been arrested for sex trafficking, statutory rape, and child molestation of a 15-year-old victim after she disclosed the exploitation in 2019.
Hawaii: Man sentenced to 40 years in sex trafficking of teens – A man sex-trafficked three underage girls has been sentenced to two consecutive 20-year-terms almost nine years after being arrested. 
Michigan: Warren man accused of prostituting girl online; victim rescued through sex trafficking operation – After a human trafficking tip, a 28-year-old man has been charged with prostitution – accepting earnings; prostitution – transporting female; conducting a criminal enterprise, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
New York: Man, 62, Accused of Raping, Trafficking Runaway 14-Year-Old Girl He Met in NYC: DA – A man who lured a 14-year-old runaway from Penn Station by promising he would take care of her. The man then sexually assaulted her and sex trafficked her. When he returned to Penn Station with the victim, police recognized the missing minor and were able to extract her from the situation and charge her trafficker.
New York: 11 men charged in Lawrence prostitution sting –  Eleven men were arrested for attempting to buy sex from two undercover officers. One of those charged left his 12-year-old son in the backseat of his car while he attempted to purchase sex.
Nevada: Names released of nine men arrested in human trafficking operation – Undercover officers arrested nine men who contacted them seeking to exploit minors sexually.
Tennessee: TBI: Arrests made in human trafficking operation in McNairy County – Tennessee Police posted decoy ads for commercial sex, arresting four men who sought to buy sex from a minor, one for patronizing a prostitute, and one for promoting prostitution.
Tennessee: Man charged with sex trafficking in Donelson – After a victim contacted police and said she was being sex trafficked, police extracted the victim from a hotel and identified three other women, one of whom accepted support services. He was charged with two counts of sex trafficking.
Texas: Three men have been indicted for trafficking and child pornography – One Texas man has been charged with sex trafficking a minor, possessing CSAM, and soliciting a minor for sex. Two other Texas men were charged with possession of CSAM.
Texas: 9 human trafficking victims found hiding in Honda Pilot in Valley Mills. A traffic stop for a broken tail-light and careful investigative work by a Spanish-speaking officer led to the identification of 9 potential human trafficking victims and the arrest of a potential trafficker. All of the potential victims had no identification, and one of the victims was identified as a missing and endangered person from Los Angeles.
Virginia: Man accused of sex trafficking minor in Virginia Beach and Norfolk – A 34-year-old man has been arrested and is accused of sex trafficking a 16-year-old victim who ran away from a group home. He recruited her by asking if she needed help, then exploited her and controlled her via drugs, alcohol, threats, and violence.
Virginia: Online chatting operations lead to numerous arrests – Twenty-seven men were arrested for attempting to buy sex from adults in a sting operation.
Wisconsin: Human trafficking, prostitution trial delayed until 2023 –  An owner of two IMBs in Wisconsin’s trial will be delayed to ensure a key witness can participate. The defendant has been charged with four felonies, including two human trafficking charges. Lucky Massage and Angel Massage were investigated for three months after multiple tips. Investigators found that in a month, the businesses had 223 male clients and 1 female client. Chinese “workers” were regularly rotated into and out of the business and slept at the IMB or the owner’s apartment. The defendant faces up to 36 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Arizona: California man sentenced to 10 years for sex trafficking teen from Phoenix –  A man has been sentenced to 10 years for recruiting a 17-year-old at a Phoenix party and then sex trafficking her in Los Angeles.
California: Federal Jury Finds Sacramento Man Guilty of Sex Trafficking – A Sacramento man has been found guilty of sex trafficking a victim throughout California. The sex trafficker used violence to control the victim, beating her when she refused to provide commercial sex. He also attempted to sex traffic the victim remotely while imprisoned. He faces a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Indiana: Federal Jury Finds Truck Driver Guilty of Sex Trafficking a Minor and Production of Child Sex Abuse Materials – A trucker trafficked a 14-year-old girl, taking multiple videos of the exploitation. He used multiple Facebook accounts and a Snapchat account to maintain control over the victim for three years. Their messages were used as crucial evidence. His victim chose to report the crime because “30-year-old men shouldn’t be having sex with little kids.”
Ohio: Former northeast Ohio doctor wants his sex trafficking conviction thrown out – A former emergency room physician who pled guilty to eight charges of sex trafficking and production of child pornography is asking that his conviction be overturned due to “ineffective counsel” by the Supreme Court. He says the judge did not consider his mental health during sentencing for his crimes, which included buying commercial sex from a 12-year-old and 15-year-old trafficking victim, among others. The Sixth District Court of Appeals has already refused to hear the case.
New York – Mount Vernon Man Charged With Sex Trafficking Of A Minor – A 27-year-old man has been charged with sex trafficking a minor. His victim lived at a residential facility for at-risk youth when he recruited her, and then sex trafficked her in hotels throughout New York City.

US: Philadelphia Appeals Court Case Highlights Prison Labor Rights – A case before the Philadelphia Appeals Court seeks to prove that prisoners in a Pennsylvania county work program are victims of forced labor. The ruling could impact the 1.2 million prisoners estimated to work for less than minimum wage in the United States.
Georgia: Farm labor traffickers bribed Georgia government employees, federal agent testifies – The federal agent stated that labor traffickers bribed government employees to not report the inhumane housing conditions for H-2A workers. The case has led to 28 defendants being charged.
Minnesota: Labor Trafficking Protocol to be implemented by Minnesota agencies – Minnesota is providing training to over 3,500 law enforcement officers, event staff, and health care workers to address labor trafficking in the state.

Florida: Tamarac Woman Accused of Money Laundering and Living Off Prostitution – A Broward County IMB owner has been charged with money laundering and living off of the proceeds of prostitution after an investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Money Laundering Task Force. She had attempted to transfer $20,000-$100,000 out of the country over a year, and deposited over $40,000 across bank accounts in increments under $3,000 to try and evade detection. Investigators interviewed employees who said they were controlled by the owner who seized their passports and threatened to call immigration enforcement on them.
New Jersey: NJ man sentenced to 33 months in prison for making, selling fake massage therapist licenses used for prostitution businesses – A man has been sentenced to 33 for months for providing false massage certifications, complete with falsified transcripts of training that never took place, for illicit massage parlors. He charged $1,000 to $2,600 per license, working with a city councilman to supply IMBs in four counties.


Georgia: 19 individuals charged in multi-agency sex-trafficking operation, Troup county officials say – The Troup County Sherriff’s Office billed an investigation as focusing on human trafficking, but arrested seven people on prostitution charges and shared their full names. They also arrested four men for pandering and three for pimping, which are misdemeanors under Georgia law if the victims are over 18 years old. There is no indication that services were provided to potential victims or that there was an attempt at investigating potential human trafficking.
New York: 1 Arrest In LI Massage Parlor Raid After ‘Numerous Complaints’: Police – One woman working at a Long Island IMB who allegedly resided in Flushing has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse, practicing massage without a license, and received six fire/building code citations. There are no indications this was investigated as a potential human trafficking case.

Global: Reading between the lines of the world’s top human-trafficking report – This article discusses the most recent State Department Trafficking in Persons report, highlighting that victim identification and prosecutions are both down while survivors are still not being adequately supported.
Canada: Kingston, Ont., tech figure ID’d as man charged in child pornography, human trafficking case – A founder of Aviio Digital, which provides digital marketing to hotels, has been charged with 60 offenses relating to the sex trafficking of minors and production of CSAM. Police began the investigation after a January, 2022 tip that a man was attempting to groom and lure victims over social media.
Ohio: Cortland Police Department receives $112K grant to help combat human trafficking – The Cortland Police Department is receiving a large grant to address human trafficking as part of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program. The program will grant 14 Ohio law enforcement totaling $3.5 million this year.
New York: Two Eastern District of New York Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Former Acting U.S. Attorney, and Paralegal Specialist Receive Attorney General’s Award – Four criminal justice professionals have been honored with a major award for their work investigating and prosecuting Keith Raniere and his sex trafficking operation.
US: Hotels Donate $1 Million to Human Trafficking Survivor Fund – A group of hotels have donated $1 million dollars to support survivors of human trafficking and increase educaiton.
US: Nursing Homes: A Growing Target for Labor Traffickers –  An expert discusses the high risk if labor trafficking in nursing homes.
US: US Temporary Work Visas Expose Migrants to Exploitation: Report: A detailed report has been released by Polaris discussing temporary work visas and thier role in human trafficking.
Southeast Asia: From Industrial-Scale Scam Centers, Trafficking Victims Are Being Forced to Steal Billions – 


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