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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

San Diego Sex Trafficking Industry Worth $800m Annually, Federal Report Finds

A federal report on sex trafficking in San Diego has revealed a vast underground industry worth more than $800m annually, eight times higher than previously estimated.

The report, considered the best measure of the problem’s scope to date, has shocked researchers and law enforcement officers in the region.

“I didn’t realize the amount of money involved,” said Bill Gore, the San Diego County sheriff.
Sex trafficking, defined as the trade in which someone has been forced, coerced or tricked into prostitution, involves some 110 gangs just in San Diego County, dubbed one of 13 hot spots for child sex trafficking in the US by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“This is a beautiful town with an ugly truth,” said Summer Stephan, the county’s chief deputy district attorney.

Read more from The Guardian

Night Club Sex Trafficking Case Sparks Debate In Lawrence

A Topeka man takes a plea in a sex trafficking case with Lawrence ties. 46-year-old Sean Hall pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, despite being originally charged with sex trafficking of a minor.

"They are stolen off the street. The more vulnerable they are, the more susceptible they are," said Joan Schultz, director of the Willow Domestic Violence Center.

Schultz says homeless men and women, as well as those aging out of the foster care system, are most at risk for human trafficking.

Read more from Lawrence

Gov. Nixon Signs Bill To Combat Human Trafficking, Expands Penalties For Predators

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City and Missouri have become hubs for human trafficking.

In an effort to combat this “under-reported crime,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill into law Wednesday in Kansas City to expand penalties for sex trafficking and protect victims.

“We tend to think of trafficking as something that happens in the distant, undeveloped countries,” said Nixon during a press conference in Kansas City. “But the tragic reality is that is happens here in the United States. Human trafficking is a real and growing problem.”

Sex Trafficking Victims May Push Rescue Away, U.S. Experts Say

by Ellen Wulfhorst | @EJWulfhorst | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 15:28 GMT
BILLINGS, Montana, June 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rick and Pat Freeland have cared for hundreds of troubled girls and women at their log cabin refuge deep in the Rocky Mountains, but there's one rule; they will only take two victims of sex trafficking at a time.

Survivors of sex trafficking can be among the most difficult crime victims to assist, often resisting help, refusing to see themselves as victims and returning to their traffickers, experts say.

Added to that, they can be smart, manipulative and deceptive, using the same behaviours they learned to survive on anyone who tries to help them.

Read more here

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jury Finds Accused Pimp Guilty Of Human Trafficking

DANVERS — A Salem Superior Court jury on Friday morning found Steven Diaz, 34, of Everett, guilty on charges of human trafficking and deriving support from prostitution.

Attorney General Maura Healey announced the verdict in a statement that afternoon. The jury, which began deliberations Thursday afternoon in the case, found Diaz not guilty of kidnapping.

"This defendant preyed on a vulnerable woman and coerced her into engaging in commercial sex with multiple men," Healey said in a statement. "People victimized by the egregious crime of human trafficking have not chosen this path for themselves and we will aggressively prosecute those who exploit others for their own profit."

Read more from here

Oakland: 3 Teen Girls Rescued In Human Trafficking Case

OAKLAND -- A man and woman are facing human trafficking and kidnapping charges after police rescued three young girls Wednesday that they were reportedly trying to force to work as prostitutes, authorities said Thursday.

The names of the 21-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were not released because they have not been formally charged and because the investigation is ongoing.

Police were able to find and free the girls -- ages 14, 15 and 16 -- on Wednesday morning from an apartment in the 1000 block of 65th Street in North Oakland after one of them was able to get access to a phone and call a relative just after 9 a.m.

Read more from here

Accused Pimp's Mother, Three Others Charged In Drug And Human Trafficking Probe Involving Cleveland Teen

Cleveland police car 3.jpg

Five people, are now charged in connection with a drug and human trafficking investigation involving a 16-year-old girl who was pimped out of three houses on Cleveland's East Side, according to police. (File photo)

Cory Shaffer, By Cory Shaffer,
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on June 10, 2016 at 5:25 PM, updated June 10, 2016 at 9:00 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Five people are charged with selling drugs and pimping a group of prostitutes that included a Cleveland teenager who is now missing, according to court records.

Cleveland police arrested four people at two Cleveland homes Thursday, but continue to search for both the 16-year-old girl and the man accused of pimping her, 18-year-old Bobby Nix II.

Third District vice detectives on Friday filed complaints charging Sarah Hogue-Wood, Spencer Wilkerson, Valerie Love and Nix's mother Muslimah Muwwakkli with a combination of drug trafficking and promoting prostitution charges.

Read more from here

More Bond Conditions For Human Trafficking Suspect

Staggs and his co-defendant 51-year-old Florence attorney, Edward "Chip" Dillard, were both indicted by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury for multiple human trafficking charges.

51-year-old Reginald Brett Mitchell was also indicted for tampering with evidence and destroying evidence related to the case, according to Mitchell's attorney.

Dillard and Staggs both have an arraignment hearing set for June 23rd.

Staggs is being held on a $300,000 cash bond, and Dillard on a $500,000 cash bond. Both men are currently sitting in the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

Read more from here

Former Local Attorney Arrested In Alabama On Charges Of Human Trafficking

Thursday, June 09, 2016
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRDW/WAGT) – A former Augusta attorney has been arrested in Alabama on charges of human trafficking.

Edward Ray “Chip” Dillard, 51, now an attorney in Alabama was arrested on seven counts of human trafficking in the second degree, four counts of conspiracy to commit human trafficking in the second-degree, one count of sexual abuse in the second-degree, two counts of making terroristic threats and one count of intimidating a witness.

He was arrested along with a Florence, Ala. man, Timothy Wylie Staggs, 83, who is facing charges on five counts of human trafficking in the second-degree and four counts of conspiracy to commit human trafficking.

Read more here

Monday, June 6, 2016

'8 Days,' Awareness Film About Human Trafficking, Coming To Cameo On June 16

A film bringing awareness to human trafficking, "8 Days," will be screened June 16 at the Cameo Art House Theatre.
The full-length feature film, inspired by actual trafficking events, was directed by Jaco Booyens and stars Nicole Smolen, Katie Walker, Kim Baldwin Turner and Todd Terry. It begins at 6 p.m.

Read more from here

Report: Black Lives Matter Leader Charged With Sex Trafficking Is Also An Alleged Charity 'Scammer'


By Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller

In addition to being an accused child sex trafficker, Black Lives Matter activist Charles Wade is a financial “scammer,” says a lawyer for a St. Louis real estate developer who lost more than $10,000 after Wade skipped town last year without paying rent.

Read more from Fox Nation

Vatican Summit Pushes Human Trafficking Crackdown

Judges and prosecutors from around the world gather and vow to fight the problem.

VATICAN CITY — Judges and prosecutors from around the world pledged Friday to crack down on human trafficking and help victims of modern-day slavery in the latest Vatican initiative to draw attention to the problem and rally resources to fight it.

At a Vatican summit of judges, prosecutors and other public officials, Pope Francis signed a declaration stating human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution and the trafficking of organs as a “crime against humanity” that should be prosecuted and punished as such.

Read more from here

Catholic World News: Work to eradicate human trafficking, Pope tells judges and prosecutors

June 06, 2016

Pope Francis delivered an unexpected address on June 3 to a Vatican summit on human trafficking and organized crime.

Participants in the June 3-4 summit, hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, included leading UN, American, British, Dutch, and Swedish officials involved in the fight against human trafficking, as well as prominent Italian prosecutors and Mexican judges.

Read more from Catholic Culture

128 Suspects Arrested In Florida On Human Trafficking & Child Predator Charges

Winter Haven, Florida – Polk County Sheriff, Grady Judd, will brief the media this afternoon regarding a large scale, six-day long undercover operation targeting Human Trafficking and Child Predators.

At an undercover location in Polk County, Polk County Sheriff’s Office undercover detectives and Lakeland Police officers conducted a six-day long undercover investigation beginning Tuesday, May 31, 2016, through Sunday, June 5, 2016, which targeted Internet crimes associated with human trafficking and child exploitation.

A total of 128 suspects were arrested.  Suspects came from throughout Florida to include Miami, Orlando, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Winter Park, Tampa, Lakeland, Davenport, Sanford, Merritt Island, Ocala, Oviedo, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Mulberry, Bartow, and Polk City; some were visiting the area on vacation or business from Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Read more here 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Two Men Arrested For Sex Trafficking In Chattanooga


Two Chattanooga men are accused of holding a young girl captive for months and treating her as a sex slave.

The two men, both 40-years-old, were arrested last week on charges involving conspiracy, kidnapping, and sex trafficking.

Corrie Gillispie (also known as Tyme, BiggtymeChattanoogatyme, and Profit Tyme) and Willie Watkins (also known as Block Baker, Soldier, and Killer) were arrested by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Chattanooga Police Department.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Gillispie and Watkins on May 17, 2016 for the charges. 

Read more from here

Woman Accused In Human Trafficking Case Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering Charge


An emotional Yeon Sook Hwang broke down in tears as she entered a guilty plea in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The 41-year-old managed a massage parlor in St. Martin that was reportedly a front for a prostitution operation.

Hwang initially pleaded not guilty, but decided to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement that dropped other charges against her. She now faces a maximum 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Read more from WMCActionNews