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Monday, October 31, 2016

4 Calif. Officers To Be Fired In Wake Of Bay Area Sex Scandal

By Javier Panzar
Los Angeles Times

RICHMOND, Calif.  Four more Bay Area police officers will be fired as a result of an investigation into allegations made by a teenage sex-trafficking victim who said she slept with dozens of law enforcement officers.

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay on Sunday said the four officers will be fired after a city investigation found “documented misconduct” between the officers and the victim. Five other officers will be given official reprimands.

Read more from Police One

St. Paul Man Sentenced to 20 Years on Sex Trafficking Charge

October 31, 2016 11:11 AM

A St. Paul man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for prostituting a teenage girl.

Forty-one-year-old Damon DiMartino was sentenced Friday on a first-degree sex trafficking charge.
According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a domestic disturbance call last fall and later learned that the person who made the complaint was a 17-year-old who was being prostituted. The girl told police that she had been kicked out of her mother’s home in June and had been living with friends.

Read more from St Paul Eyewitness News 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FBI Arrests 21 Accused In Georgia Sex Trafficking Sting Operation Cross Country X

Twenty-one people from Georgia face human trafficking charges after an undercover sting involving state and local law enforcement, according to the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office.
The arrests included the capture of two Floridians in Atlanta who were wanted on charges of murder and sex trafficking in the case of a 14-year-old girl.
According to a news release, the FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force arrested 54 adult prostitutes, seized nine firearms and saved one juvenile from sex trafficking in addition to the alleged pimp arrests.
The sting was part of Operation Cross Country X, an international operation focused on human sex trafficking. This year, officials were able to rescue 82 minors and arrested 239 traffickers, according to the release.

Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, October 17, 2016

5 Arrested After FBI, Local Law Enforcement Conduct Anti-Human Trafficking Bust


The FBI's Birmingham office says that multiple people have been arrested in connection to Operation Cross Country X (OCC X), an initiative aimed at stopping underage human trafficking.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office has identified several suspects arrested in their area and released their charges:
  • Kheliam Jamar Rountree: Human trafficking, child endangerment, second degree unlawful possession of marijuana
  • Aaron Lee Byrd, Jr.: Human trafficking, obstruction of justice
  • Elaina Josephine Logan: Promoting prostitution
  • Devon Johnson: Promoting prostitution
  • Terkeria Sherell Simmons: Chemical endangerment of a child, second degree unlawful possession of marijuana
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Monday, October 10, 2016

New Orleans Human Trafficking Victims Says Backpage Website A Major Factor In New Orleans Human Trafficking

Just over half of the New Orleans human trafficking victims seeking help at Covenant House over the past six months were featured in prostitution ads on the website Backpage, whose CEO was arrested on pimping charges Thursday (Oct. 6), a Covenant House official says.

And of those 16 human trafficking victims, 11 worked in New Orleans strip clubs, said Shari Lockridge, a case worker at Covenant House. Some of them were recruited through the strip clubs and then began exchanging money for sex, often at the behest of a pimp who would maintain the ads and coordinate the flow of customers to the woman.

The Times Picayune has more

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Backpage Ceo Arrested On Sex Trafficking Charges

Oct. 6, 2016: This photo released by the Texas Office of the Attorney General shows Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleges that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.  (Texas Office of the Attorney General via AP)

State agents raided the Dallas headquarters of adult classified ad portal Backpage and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer on Thursday following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.

Ferrer, 55, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on a flight from Amsterdam, said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. In a statement, Paxton said agents from his Law Enforcement Unit participated in a search of Backpage headquarters and Ferrer's arrest.

"Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas. I intend to use every resource my office has to make sure those who profit from the exploitation and trafficking of persons are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.

Read more from FoxNews

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

South Dakota AG Joins Sex Trafficking Fight

 (CN) — South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, along with 20 of his counterparts in others states, has added his name to an amicus brief filed in hopes of holding liable for sex trafficking.

     The brief was filed in the Supreme Court case of Doe v., and says the Communications Decency Act (CDA) does not shield website operators from liability when they use language designed to attract sex traffickers in advertisements.

     The First Circuit previously upheld a dismissal of the case by U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns in Boston.

     Three underage women claimed the website allowed advertisements for their trafficking in its "escorts" section.

Read more from  Courthouse News Service

Sex Trafficking's Unholy Tour

THE MONTH of fright is underway, which means half the city is doing its best to give me a heart attack.

Between massive spider webs stretched across driveways and skeletons dancing in trees, it’s really starting to look like Creep Town around here, which is excellent.

I do so love Savannah’s early enthusiasm for Halloween, even if I’m kind of afraid to walk the dog past the nice yellow bungalow on the corner that’s been transformed into the Shrieking Shack.

Regrettably, there’s a lot more to be scared of in real life than any moaning goblin yard decoration.
We’ve got masked shooters on the loose, multiple government agencies haunted by scandal and some seriously misguided mad science about to go down on Elba Island.

Even deeper into the darkness looms a human trafficking industry that’s harder to get a handle on than a zombie on flakka.

Read more from Connect Savannah 

Sex-Trafficking Sting Nabs 2 Vancouver Men

Portland police officers arrested seven men, including two from Vancouver, in a sex-trafficking sting operation late September.

From Sept. 19 to 23, investigators with the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Trafficking Unit posted ads on websites known for sex trafficking. Seven men contacted undercover officers to arrange for paid sex acts, the bureau said. 

Read more from The Columbian 

FBI Says Two Men Indicted For Sex Trafficking Could Be In Seattle Area

SEATTLE – The FBI is asking for help tracking down two men charged with sex trafficking who might be in the Seattle area.

Aaron M. Barnes, 33, and Kamau Curnal, 28, are both charged with one count of sex trafficking of a child and one count of transportation of a minor for the purpose of prostitution following an investigation in Oregon.

Read more from FOXSeattle

Monday, October 3, 2016

Three Duke Women Take On Human Trafficking

Three high-ranking government officials outlined how everyday consumers can help combat human trafficking Thursday.

Susan Coppedge, Trinity ‘88 and the United States ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat trafficking in persons; Andrea Wilson, MPP/MBA ‘12 and a foreign officer in the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Amy Pope, Law ‘09 and deputy assistant to the President and deputy homeland security advisor on the National Security Council, spoke at the Sanford School of Public Policy about the government’s role in monitoring and policing trafficking.

Coppedge—who was appointed to her current position by President Barack Obama in 2015—said her own inspiration came after joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and prosecuting trafficking cases. 

Read more from The Chronicle

Four Arrested For Human Trafficking In Connection To 2015 Case

The arrest of two human trafficking suspects in 2015 led to four more human trafficking arrests this week.

According to Louisiana State Police, investigators were able to positively identify four human trafficking suspects after working closely with the victim. The victim told police that Tina Marie Wiles, Ricky L. Hale, John P. Cox Jr. and Clifton P. Simmons all held her against her will and forced her to participate in sexual acts between June and August of 2015 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.

  • Wiles, 29, is charged with Human Trafficking.
  • Hale, 56, is charged with Human Trafficking.
  • Cox, 36, is charged with Human Trafficking and Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin and Methamphetamine.
  • Simmons, 43, is currently incarcerated in the Tangipahoa Parish jail for a separate incident, but will be charged with Human Trafficking and Aggravated Assault with a firearm.
Read more from Channel 4WWL

Cocoa Man Found Guilty Of Sex Trafficking Of Child

A Cocoa man has been found guilty of sex trafficking of a child, with force, fraud or coercion and production of child pornography by a federal jury, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

Kennedy Harris, Jr., 23, of Cocoa faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Sentencing in the case is slated for December 19.

Harris was indicted on May 11. The Ccooa Police Department came into contact with the victim in this case on February 10.

Read more from Florida Today

Two Charged in Maryland with Rape, Human Trafficking, Others

Two men were arrested in Frederick, Maryland, and charged with human trafficking-related offenses, according to Frederick police.

Officers responded to the Super 8 Motel on Monocracy Boulevard for reports of a domestic dispute. When they arrived, a juvenile victim said she was reported missing out of Texas and brought to Maryland by one of the men.

Thomas Duane Jones, 35, of Houston, Texas, and Marvin Bernard Armstrong, 46, of High Point, North Carolina, were arrested. Police said the men were charged with rape, sex offense, human trafficking by force, human trafficking (take cause), false imprisonment and second-degree assault.