• November 3, 2022
  • forgingfreed0m
  • HT News
View this email in your browserWe 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: Trussville doctor arrested for trafficking teen has medical license suspended –  An Alabama doctor accused of inappropriately touching an underage patient and propositioning her for commercial sex has lost his medical license after being arrested earlier in October.Alabama: Opelika man arrested on human trafficking charges – A 31-year-old man was arrested on human trafficking charges in Alabama, other details about the case are unclear. He was arrested previously in Oklahoma City in 2021.Arizona: Officials arrest 16 suspects in Arizona for child sex crimes, human trafficking – Sixteen men have been arrested as part of Phoenix Operation Tangled Web, Florida: Teen Vacationing in Miami Beach Became Sex Trafficking Victim, Man Arrested: Police –  A thirty-year-old man has been arrested for sex trafficking a 15-year-old after she fought with her parents in Miami, left their shared room and met her trafficker who offered her a meal. He gave her cocaine, convinced her he wanted a relationship, sexually assaulted her, and then sex trafficked her. He continued to exploit the victim in Texas commercially, then returned to Florida. He plied her with drugs, forced her to sleep in the car, and choked her when she objected to providing commercial sex. Finally, when the victim said she wanted to leave, he strangled her in an alley, leading her to call the police at her next opportunity. He has claimed he never had a sexual relationship and that “he helped her by being there and showing love.”Florida: Two arrested in human trafficking bust in Hillsborough County – Police arrested a man and a woman on human trafficking charges. Eight Cuban women were sex and labor trafficked in strip clubs after being told they had to pay a $60,000 per person debt for being brought to America. The traffickers forced the victims to live in two small rooms and threatened their families. The victims were discovered after a public tip from a community member who observed the victims with their trafficker getting supplies at a local mall.Georgia: 3 men convicted in Georgia farm labor investigation – Three men who were arrested after a wide-ranging labor trafficking and anti-corruption case codenamed “Operation Blooming Onion” have pled guilty and been convicted for their role in exploiting workers. A ringleader who also pretended to marry a victim and raped her for over a year pled guilty to conspiracy to commit forced labor and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. One man received 5 years for pleading guilty to forced labor and another received 15 months for conspiracy. Twenty other people have been charged as part of the operation. Kentucky: PPD: Man and woman charged with human trafficking – A woman has been charged with sex trafficking after agreeing that a man could have commercial sex with her fifteen-year-old daughter in exchange for money and narcotics. The man who made the offer has also been arrested for sex trafficking. Louisiana: Vidalia man accused of sex trafficking children in NELA and Mississippi – A 45-year-old man has been arrested for sex trafficking minors in Louisiana and Mississippi. He is accused of supplying meth and fentanyl to minors until they were unconscious and then offering the victims to adults for commercial sex. The investigation is ongoing and investigators are asking for anyone with information to come forward.Massachusetts: Massachusetts man arraigned on human trafficking, kidnapping charges in Bennington. – A drug dealer has been arrested on human trafficking and kidnapping charges after forcing a man indebted to him to sell drugs to pay back his debts. When the man could not raise $1500, the drug dealers assaulted him, kidnapped his girlfriend, and held her for two days. Police recognized that labor trafficking laws protect those forced into illegal work. They were able to arrest the traffickers at an arranged rendezvous point, and fleeing suspects led them to an apartment with drugs and a loaded gun.Massachusetts: Boston man charged after allegedly sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl he met on social media – A 33-year-old man has been charged after he groomed a 17-year-old victim over social media and convinced her to fly to Boston to meet him. Once there, he began to sex traffick her and would threaten, beat, and choke her if she tried to leave. She was later sex trafficked in Nevada and Georgia before the arrest.New Hampshire: Alton man indicted for alleged sex trafficking of minors – A manager of a marina is accused of sex trafficking underage employees, paying them to provide sexually explicit images and commercial sex to customers of the marina. He also sexually assaulted some of the minors himself. North CarolinaTwo charged with human trafficking in Wilmington, 8 victims identified – Two North Carolina men were arrested and charged with promotion of prostitution after eight sex trafficking victims were identified by police.Texas: Undercover operations lead to 9 sex trafficking suspects to be identified in Greater Houston area – Fort Bend County is announcing the results of two operations held in August and September, focused on reducing demand and identifying potential victims. Nine suspects were arrested on trafficking charges and 17 victims were identified, including 15 adult women, one adult man and one minor.California: Ventura woman sentenced to over six years for human trafficking – A 21-year-old California woman has been sentenced to six years for sex trafficking a minor, false imprisonment, and giving a controlled substance to a minor. She used drugs, violence, and threats to control the victim.Florida: Tallahassee Man Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison For Sex Trafficking Of A Minor – A 39-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for two counts of sex trafficking a minor under the age of 14. We’re proud of our partners, the Tallahassee Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, who worked on this case as part of Operation Stolen Innocence, a multi-agency coordinated effort by the United States Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of State Attorney, Second Judicial Circuit. Florida: Florida farm-labor recruiters sentenced for racketeering, human trafficking scheme – Three labor traffickers have been convicted and sentenced to 37 months, 41 months, and eight months of house arrest respectively for abusing at least 12 H-2A visa holders. The traffickers promised better conditions, then illegally charged the farm workers fees to be recruited, confiscated their passports, and falsified pay records to hide that the workers were not being paid. The traffickers are required to pay a total of $34,000 to the survivors for their role. The ringleader, who already plead guilty, must pay $173,000 and is waiting on sentencing. Louisiana: Man who admitted to diaper fetish sentenced to prison on human trafficking violations –  A man has pled guilty to human trafficking after lying to multiple victims he hired as caregivers who believed he was an intellectually disabled man who needed his diaper changed. In reality, he had a sexual fetish for having his diaper changed. He was sentenced to five years of probation and a year in jail, as this is his second conviction for similar charges.Kentucky: Lexington man sentenced to 5 years for sex trafficking – A man has been sentenced to 5 years for his role in a sex trafficking operation where he helped transport and advertise victims.Pennsylvania: Man sentenced to 33 years for sex trafficking in PA – A 57-year-old man was sentenced to 33 years and 9 months in prison for sex trafficking multiple women in Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. He trafficked a vulnerable single mother (using her children’s needs as a way to control her) and another vulnerable homeless woman with serious mental illnesses from 2014-2018. The trafficker used verbal abuse and violence as control methods until police recovered both women.Nevada: 15 people arrested for luring, solicitation when undercover agents posed as juveniles online – Fifteen men have been arrested for requesting sex, sometimes for pay, from undercover officers posing as children.Nevada:27 men arrested during two-day prostitution sting near UNR –  Reno police arrested 14 men for attempting to buy sex from adults, 11 men for attempting to purchase or engage in sex from minors, and two for trying to recruit minors for commercial sex work. Two of these men were a former Reno police officer (now an attorney) who was accused of coercing a teen to strip naked during a traffic stop, and a local gynecologist.Pennsylvania: Nine men arrested in August sex sting indicted – Nine men who attempted to buy sex from a minor and were arrested in August have been indicted.Texas: TxDOT spokesperson among 8 arrested in prostitution sting–  Eight men were arrested for attempting to buy commercial sex, including a Texas Department of Transportation official who was identified as an IMB client by their business logs 2004.Texas: Prostitution sting nets 2 suspects in Burkburnett – Two men have been arrested for attempting to purchase sex from undercover officers.Texas: Six men arrested as part of DPS effort to fight human trafficking – Six men were arrested for attempting to buy sex in Texas, more details have not been released.Global: ‘Working in fear’: Some private contractors are accused of abusive labor practices on U.S. military bases – Workers are blowing the whistle on contractors labor trafficking workers on military bases. The Pentagon says it found 176 labor trafficking violations in 5 years but refused to name violators or report them. Alabama: Hyundai Severs Links with Alabama Suppliers in Child Labor Probe – Hyundai is cutting ties with Alabama-based suppliers after a Reuters investigation into the disappearance of three siblings: a 15-year-old, 14-year-old, and 12-year-old who were working for the plant. The investigation found children as young as 12 working in the Alabama factories. Hyundai is launching a larger investigation into its US-supply chains.California: Though Wage Theft Is A Crime, Few California DAs File Charges For It – This article discusses the under-enforcement of wage theft and why prosecutors are beginning to file more cases.Georgia: Metro Atlanta Amazon warehouse workers accuse company of unfair labor practices – Workers at an Amazon warehouse are accusing their employer of intimidation and retaliation while demanding better conditions and pay. New York: Mexican workers escape and accuse Putnam greenhouse of labor trafficking – A pair of men have escaped a labor trafficking situation after being recruited to care for greenhouses for 40 hours per week at $15.66 per hour they but were working 12 hours per day, seven days per week for little to no pay. The workers were threatened with deportation, and the trafficking network threatened their families.Ohio: Hotel staffs complicit in sex trafficking, lawsuit alleges – An attorney has filed multiple suits on behalf of victims who say hotels turned a blind eye to obvious human trafficking occurring on their premises. CLICK HERE TO DONATE >>California: Fallbrook Massage parlor raided for prostitution – One woman has been publicly named and charged with prostitution in connection with an IMB raid. There is no indication she was offered services or this was investigated as a potential human trafficking situation.Florida: 18 arrested, including teens, in human trafficking sting during Biketoberfest, Volusia deputies say –  Eighteen people were arrested, mostly for providing commercial sex, including two underage girls police say worked to prove they were not under anyone else’s control. Both have been charged with prostitution instead of being offered supportive services. This was clearly an anti-vice operation mislabeled as an anti-trafficking operation.New Jersey: Fairview ‘Full Service’ Massage Parlors Raided: Four Busted, Two Taken By Feds, $11,291 Seized – Four potential victims have been arrested and charged with prostitution, immigration violations, and obstruction after an IMB raid. Their names, images, and descriptions of nudity and sexual acts were published. It is unclear if any were offered any form of culturally appropriate support services or if a larger investigation to identify potential human trafficking took place.New York: 5 Arrested In Main Street Prostitution Sting In New Rochelle – An IMB has been raided, and five women have been named and charged with prostitution-related offenses. Many arrestees had paperwork that indicated they lived outside of the community and, in some cases, states away. There is no indication that this was investigated as a potential human trafficking situation or that the potential victims were offered support.Texas: 14 arrested in Lubbock prostitution operation – Eight sex buyers were arrested in Lubbock County, while six people were charged with prostitution and their names and photos were publicized.  There is no indication that any services were provided or there was an attempt to investigate potential human trafficking.US: Human Trafficking Data Collection Activities, 2022 – The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released the most updated numbers available. A total of 2,198 persons were referred to U.S. Attorneys for human trafficking offenses and 1,343 were prosecuted in 2020.US: Slavery is on the ballot for voters in 5 US states – Five states are considering removing the imprisonment exception for involuntary servitude at the state level, including Vermont, Louisiana, Oregon, Alabama, and Tennessee. Currently, 20 states have that exception. US: Advocates say the number of labor trafficking victims is vastly undercounted – A story on what labor trafficking looks like and why it is so under-reported.US: Justice Department Awards Over $90 Million To Combat Human Trafficking And Support Victims – Large grants have been awarded to address a range of human trafficking related issues in the United States.Florida: Orlando teen shot and killed was involved in human trafficking case – A young teen missing from a DCF service center at only 15-years-old has been found dead after being shot. She walked out of the facility after an argument with a staff member and was involved in a human trafficking investigation.Kansas: Topeka man behind bars for human trafficking of teenage girl – A welfare check led to a man being arrested for sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl. The investigation is ongoing. Nevada: Boulder City nonprofit to break ground on facility for child sex trafficking victims– St. Jude’s is breaking ground on a $25 million, 10-acre facility with the hopes of offering comprehensive care to child survivors of sex trafficking. The entire project is expected to be completed spring of 2024, while the first residents will likely be able to move in by this summer.Texas: Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and Unbound BCS Receive $1.5 Million Grant – Brazos County will hire two human trafficking-focused investigators, and Unbound BCS will use the money to provide services to survivors.Washington: Judge to decide if Seattle police can be held liable in sex trafficking case – Five women who say the Seattle Police Department failed to investigate their reports of being sex trafficked by a local rapper and his record label have added the police department to their list of defendants in a civil suit.Wisconsin: Perceptions of juvenile human trafficking need to change, officials say – A story highlighting Project RESPECT, a Wisconsin non-profit discussing that grooming vulnerable children and not kidnapping is the most common way traffickers target minors. A Wisconsin officer also discusses why officers don’t always charge traffickers with human trafficking. JOIN US >>
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