#365 – Human Trafficking Awareness

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

Traffickers are on the lookout for vulnerable people, whether it’s children who are having trouble with their parents (30% of children who are trafficked had a history of running away from home, according to the 2020 Federal Human Trafficking Report) or perhaps those with substance issues (43% of kids who are trafficked).

Trafficking is a crime of manipulation and power. You have to understand what makes people vulnerable to trafficking, and if you understand the vulnerabilities, you’re in the best possible position to keep the people that you love safe.

The Department of Justice provides the following potential indicators of human trafficking activity:

  • Being hesitant to engage in conversation. Eyes may be downcast, and victims may avoid eye contact.
  • A poor physical state – tired, malnourished, or show signs of physical abuse or torture.
  • Trouble responding to what their name is or where they are. Victims’ whereabouts and names change frequently.
  • Wearing clothes that do not fit the climate or situation they are in.
  • Lack of control over money and personal possessions. May also carry very few possessions in a plastic bag.
  • Accompanied by a dominating person or someone they seem fearful of. The controlling person may be someone who does not seem to fit, such as a much older individual or an individual with behavior seemingly inappropriate with the suspected victim.
  • A young girl or boy hanging around outside a convenience store, truck stop, casino, or other location. The individual may be approaching different vehicles or people they do not seem to know.

Read more about signs to watch for here: #089 – How to Spot Human Trafficking

If you suspect human trafficking, call 911 in an emergency. If you see suspected traffickers, do not intervene, and remain at a safe distance. Take pictures of the trafficker, victim, and vehicle license plate if possible.

Arrests are being made

16 men face child-sex charges resulting from Mount Pleasant-based operation

Mount Pleasant, SC – Sixteen men were charged with various internet-based sex counts against children stemming from a weeklong task force operation detailed by more than a dozen state and local officials.

Operation X-Posed, which took place in early November, sought those on the internet who were soliciting children between ages 12 and 14 for sex, Tyrone Simmons, deputy chief of the Mount Pleasant Police Department, said during a Jan. 18 news conference.

Portage man charged with child trafficking

Robert A. Reick, 34, Portage, WI is charged with child trafficking, a class C felony, soliciting a child for prostitution, a class D felony, and exposing a child to harmful material, a class I felony, in Columbia County Court this month.

His girlfriend, Nicole J. Brue, 38, Waunakee, is facing two felony counts of exposing genitals to a child along misdemeanor charges of fourth degree sexual assault and lewd, lascivious behavior in public. 

Man faces 40 years in prison for child sex crimes in Pawnee County

Larned, KS - Jan 13, 2022

Roy Gene Hill, 59, of Osage, Kan. was found guilty Thursday for aggravated indecent liberties with a child under the age of 14. His sentencing is set for March 24.

During the trial this week, the jury heard testimony that the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call on February 10, 2019, at approximately 5 a.m. to respond to a possible sexual assault of a minor at a residence in Garfield, Kan. Once at the residence, officers were advised by the owners that their 13-year-old granddaughter woke up in her bedroom at around 3 a.m. to a man touching her inappropriately.

The teenager testified at trial that after the assault occurred she was too scared to leave her room as she would have to pass the defendant to get to her grandmother’s room. Hill had been staying on the family’s couch for several weeks.

Richmond, CA Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Sex Trafficking A Minor And Possessing Child Pornography

Kealeon Shakur Dyer-Hogan was sentenced today in federal court to 120 months following his convictions for sex trafficking of a minor and for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.  The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Maxine M. Chesney.

Trio charged with sex trafficking of missing child in N.J.

Three Lawnside NJ residents have been charged with running a human trafficking ring that forced a missing girl into prostitution, authorities said.

Marquise Ogawa, 28, Chyaire Lee, 26, and Jazmin Scott, 21, were arrested late last year and charged with human trafficking, promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child, among other offenses.

Federal agents arrest more than 30 fugitives wanted on sex crime, murder, other charges

In the first few weeks of 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents in the El Paso Sector of New Mexico and West Texas arrested at least 34 known fugitives wanted on charges such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, second degree murder, sexual exploitation of a minor, kidnapping of a minor, and indecency with a child and lewd acts upon a child.

Awareness is growing

We started raising awareness about the prolific child sex trafficking industry last June. Here is another podcast we released, in case you missed it.: #131 – Child Sex Trafficking RED ALERT

Parents describe how daughter became a sex trafficking victim in new BCA video

By Dana Thiede, St Paul, MN - “It happened in the blink of an eye.”

A Minnesota mother and father describe how their daughter went from an average suburban teen into a victim of sex trafficking whose life is forever changed, in a new video released by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). Their real life story is a living, breathing warning about how children and young adults can get pulled into the sex trade.

At a press conference explaining and answering questions about the video, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans told reporters that every month in Minnesota more than 10,000 ads are posted online selling victims for sex.

“When a trafficker is trying to groom you, it happens in a series of stages. They identify your vulnerabilities, gain your trust, develop a bond with you,” Evans explained. “They meet your needs, whether it’s for shelter, food or affection. They isolate you from your family and friends, sexualize your relationship, and exploit and control you through threats or force.”

That description cuts close to the bone for the unnamed family in the video. The teen’s parents describe her as a bubbly personality, a young woman with “the biggest heart I know,” her mother says, also calling her smart and extremely funny. They loved to watch her dive competitively, and took pride in the person their daughter was.

“I don’t think anyone is a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ family anymore, but we were a normal family,” her father explains in the BCA video. “When we moved to the area we are in, in suburbia, you didn’t think this can happen so close to home, in an environment you hand picked to live in.”

The trouble started, as it often does, when their daughter started hanging out with the wrong crowd. They recognized growing drug and alcohol use, and rebellious behavior escalated. Eventually her parents gave her an ultimatum: Go to treatment, or leave home. She chose the latter, and ended up staying overnight in a shelter… where she met the people who would end up trafficking her for sex.

Wichita police warn of sex trafficking phone scam

The Wichita Police Department (WPD) is warning citizens of a phone scam where callers are threatening people that they are being investigated by the National Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit regarding sex trafficking or other sex crimes.

The police department said scammers are asking people for as much as $5000 or threatening to have them arrested and taken to court for the charges.

Prostitution in Texas is now classified as Human Trafficking and is a First Offense Jail Felony (2 years). – #269 – Prostitution is Human Trafficking

Human trafficking reports up 871% since 2015; underreporting still an issue

by Keith Schubert of Daily Montanan

Former youth pastor Lowell Hochhalter runs the LifeGuard Group in Missoula — a dedicated nonprofit explicitly focused on combating human trafficking and providing resources to victims. Part of the group’s efforts includes giving human trafficking presentations at schools across the state.

There hasn’t been an assembly we have done where an individual hasn’t come up and said they know someone being trafficked or are being trafficked themselves. And they don’t use the word trafficked. That’s difficult for them. But they will say that sounds like my life, or that sounds like my friend’s life.

The Montana Department of Justice investigated 68 human trafficking cases in 2021, an increase of 871% from the seven cases reported in 2015. But the actual number of cases investigated in Montana last year is likely higher because the DOJ data does not account for some local and federal cases, said Missoula Police Department Detective Guy Baker.

And human trafficking has been on the rise across the country. In 2020, 11,193 situations of human trafficking were identified through the United States National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Last December, the Justice Department announced the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, aiming to streamline coordination among anti-trafficking partners in an attempt to better investigate cases.

“Human trafficking is an insidious crime that impacts some of the most vulnerable people in our country and around the world,”

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland

While the amount of trafficking in Montana is on the rise, experts in the field say the sharp increase in reported instances also correlates with awareness efforts, and in the past, there was most likely more trafficking going unnoticed.

It is my strong opinion that [the sharp increase] is about more awareness and an increase in training among law enforcement. When people first started getting trained in Montana, they realized they were serving trafficking victims in the past and didn’t realize it.

Shantelle Gaynor, director of Missoula County’s Community Justice Department

Through an all-of-state effort among law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, schools, private businesses, and each and every one of us, we can reverse recent trends and protect the vulnerable and our communities from these despicable crimes,

Gov. Greg Gianforte, Montana

Advocates said there needs to be more public resources and services tailored to suit the needs of a trafficking victim.

In the U.S. of the roughly 1,000 shelter beds for trafficking victims, only around 150 are available to children. In Montana, there is only one emergency shelter for trafficking victims, located in Billings, but Hochhalter said the LifeGuard Group has plans to open a Missoula shelter this spring.

The LifeGuard Group also launched a Montana-specific trafficking hotline — 1-833-406-STOP — through a grant from the Gianforte Family Foundation in 2020. While a national hotline exists, Hochhalter said it’s often too busy to provide adequate response times for victims. In 2021, the Montana hotline received 86 calls, he said.

According to the LifeGuard Group, 80 percent of victims end up back in their trafficker’s hands because of the lack of available resources, with 75 percent of trafficking survivors noting that housing was the greatest area of need when trying to get out of an exploitive situation. Additionally, according to the group, a victim will return to a dangerous situation an average of seven times before definitively leaving.

“It’s so difficult for victims to walk away because their basic needs are being met,” said Lyndale Mattis, who manages the Pathways Program at the Missoula YWCA. Mattis said the program served 35 trafficking victims in 2021 and said many of the victims came from situations that people would not typically think of as human trafficking.

Another report about Child trafficking: #144 – Hollywood Child Trafficking SCANDAL

Human Trafficking Survivors tell their stories

A Young Woman Abused from Childhood Freed Herself from Sex Trafficking — Now She Helps Save Other Kids

Texas Woman Who Was Trafficked at 22 Empowers Other Survivors: ‘We Overcome by Telling Our Stories’

How a Calif. Girl Pulled into Sex Slavery by a Smooth-Talking Trafficker Found Her Purpose in a Group Home

But there is still more to do

A good resource to keep up to date on this fight: Human Trafficking Global Incident Map

Los Angeles’ Soros DA Charges 26-Year-Old Transgender As “Juvenile” For Raping 10-Year-Old Girl

Los Angeles DA George Gascón is doing the bidding of his Marxist masters by allowing violent convicted criminals back into society.

Previously the DA of San Francisco, Gascón was funneled more than $2.5 million by billionaire globalist political operative George Soros via a California political action committee to run for Los Angeles DA.

As a part of the far-left agenda to destroy the criminal justice system, Gascón has deployed tactics allowing hardcore criminals to get off with minimal charges.

In fact, Californians launched a recall campaign against the unpopular Gascón in March of 2021 and again in December the same year.

The “woke” district attorney is now under fire after a 26-year-old man who identifies as a woman and pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl was recently charged as a juvenile.

The transgender criminal will be sentenced to either a stay at a juvenile hall, or probation during a court hearing later this month. The disturbing incident took place in 2014 when [Hannah] Tubbs was two weeks away from turning 17-years-old.

Ghislaine Maxwell formally makes bid for new trial in sex trafficking case

Maxwell attorney Bobbi Sternheim filed a brief late Wednesday evening, just before a midnight deadline set by the judge, Alison Nathan. The motion and all its exhibits were filed under seal. But earlier, Maxwell’s lawyers said they would request a new trial based on “undisputed remarks of the juror, including recorded statements, the relevant questionnaire and other non-controverted facts.”

The juror, referred to as Juror No. 50, gave an interview six days after the verdict to Britain’s Independent using his first and middle name, Scotty David. He said he found all the accusers who testified believable in part because he, too, was a victim of sexual abuse. “I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the color of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video,” he told the newspaper.

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