WYMT Mountain News
February 27, 2012
The secret world of human trafficking in the Bluegrass
According to UNICEF, an estimated one million children are forced to work in the global sex industry every year. A booming market that generates more than $39 billion in profit annually, and is described as the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
"The national average of a girl being trafficked in the U.S. is between 12-14 years old" explains Sandra Savage, a survivor of the sex industry. "I worked in the industry for 13 years, and in those years I saw things that I can't even describe." Savage, a native of Mount Sterling, who says she worked in the U.S. and internationally. "I never worked directly with anyone underage but the truth is, most of the people in this industry are. A lot of people want to think this kind of stuff only happens overseas but it's happening right here in Lexington."
Just last year, Berea Police arrested Anthony Wayne Hart and his wife ... [more]
February 26, 2012
Perfect baby for sale $150K: Calif attorney convicted for baby trafficking ring
Human trafficking takes many forms, and manufacturing babies brings the industry to a new realm. Theresa Erickson, an adoption and surrogacy lawyer from California was convicted in San Diego February 22 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to filing of false court documents for surrogate birth arrangements. She is subject to sentencing of five years in federal prison and fines up to $250,000 after pleading guilty to the charge.
Embryos had been created for IVF in the Ukraine, so that the "perfect" babies could have the highly desired traits of blonde hair and blue eyes. At least three surrogates from the US were contracted by Erickson and her two accomplices to travel to the Ukraine for implantation of the fertilized eggs. While this in itself is not illegal, California law specifies that arrangements must be made by the adoptive parents and the surroga... [more]
February 27, 2012
22 women rescued from human traffickers
MANILA -- Twenty-two women, including several minors, bound for Dubai and eventually Syria, Jordan and Lebanon were rescued by government operatives from alleged human traffickers in Parañaque City on Monday.
The women, mostly from Mindanao, said they were promised jobs as household workers and that they would know their final destination and who their employers are upon arrival in Dubai.
It turned out, however, that the transit house in Villanueva village was a bungalow rented by the illegal recruitment syndicate for P13,000 a month, and was bare of furniture, forcing the women to sleep on pieces of cardboard and banigs or handwoven mats.
The house was identified by an informant who sought the help of the non-government Ople Center in out of concern for a relative who remains trapped in Syria.
For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay vowed stronger action against illegal recruiters and human... [more]
February 23, 2012
MS-13 gang leader convicted of sex trafficking teens in Northern Virginia
ALEXANDRIA, Va. --
A gang member was convicted Thursday of federal sex trafficking charges for forcing girls as young as 14 to work as prostitutes in Northern Virginia.
A jury at U.S. District Court in Alexandria found 23-year-old Rances Ulices Amaya, known as “Murder” or “Blue,” guilty of conspiring to commit sex trafficking of a child and three counts of sex trafficking.
According to an affidavit on file in federal court, Amaya, of Springfield, a leader of the criminal street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, prostituted teen girls at hotels throughout northern Virginia, including in Woodbridge, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church.
“Rances Amaya was an MS-13 leader who exploited vulnerable teen girls for sex and profit,” Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “MS-13 sees juvenile prostitution as an easy wa... [more]
February 24, 2012
Rochester Man Arrested for Sex Trafficking in Western New York
BUFFALO, N.Y.- A Rochester area man is facing federal charges for sex trafficking minors, allegedly enticing them into prostitution that took place at several hotels in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, as well as his home.
40-year-old Thomas Cramer, of Brighton, N.Y. Is facing a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Cramer's alleged victims are six teenagers, most of whom are from Western New York, according to U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr.
One of the hotels listed in the complaint is the Holiday Inn on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.
Hochul says Cramer enticed the girls to become prostitutes. The complaint alleges at least one was as young as 15, and that the customers were charged between $150 and $220 an hour to engage in sexual activities with the teenagers. Cramer received a portion of the proceeds.
One ... [more]
February 22, 2012
Rochester-Area Man Arrested For Sex Trafficking Minors
BUFFALO, NY-- A Rochester-area man has been arrested for sex trafficking minors
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. says Thomas Cramer, 40, of Brighton, is accused of enticing, promoting and profiting from the prostitution activities of six minor girls under the age of 18.
The complaint alledges Cramer enticed one girl by telling her she could make much more money performing commercial sex acts than she could working at a grocery store. Although the girl initially told Cramer she was older than 18, she eventually told Cramer she was 17 years old, but officials say Cramer continue to text the girl.
"Our Office, along with our law enforcement partners at every level of Government, are committed to aggressively prosecuting all forms of trafficking in human beings, particularly sex trafficking of minors," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "The allegations in this particular Complaint are troubl... [more]
Viet Nam News
February 23, 2012
Man arrested for human trafficking
DAK LAK— Police in Central Highlands Dak Lak Province have arrested a 30-year-old man for "selling" a young woman as a bride in China.
Quach Van Giang of Lam Dong Province was taken in on Tuesday after a man complained that Giang had trafficked his 22-year-old daughter, who called from China to say she had been sold there.
Giang had lured his daughter with a promise of a job in Ha Noi, the man told the police in Bong Krang commune in Lak District.
His family had spotted Giang in the commune on Sunday.
Giang allegedly admitted to the police that he took Vietnamese women and sold them as brides to Chinese men. — VNS
February 20, 2012
Ugandan women tricked into Malaysian sex
Advertisements pinned on the walls of shopping malls in Uganda's capital promise young women a free ticket to a well-paying job in Malaysia as a nanny, maid or bartender.
Instead many are forced to become "sex slaves" to pay off travel fees and other costs, totaling as much as $7,000. The traffickers brainwash their victims into believing they may die if they quit, apparently by collecting samples of their hair and fingernails.
Authorities say nearly all of the prostituted girls have college degrees but have failed to find jobs in Uganda, where unemployment is high.
And Ugandan officials say it is hard to cripple a highly organized syndicate that preys on educated but vulnerable women, and then intimidates them into the kind of silence that hampers investigations.
"Some of the girls, when they reach here, we ask them to tell us what happened. And she says, 'I can't tell you; I will die.' They ... [more]
February 17, 2012
Pimp gets 16 years in Denver human trafficking case
A pimp whose arrest was emblematic of a new approach Denver police have taken to prostitution cases was sentenced to 16 years in prison today after pleading guilty.
Hassan Mayo, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking in Denver District Court and was sentenced immediately. He was originally charged with pimping and prostitution, in addition to human trafficking. Police said he ran a prostitution ring and had strong-armed one woman into working for him before selling her to another pimp for $400.
Mayo was arrested in the summer of 2010 during a sweep that started with the arrest of one prostitute. Rather than charging the woman, Denver detectives employed a new tack: They approached the case as a human-trafficking investigation — with the prostitute as a witness — and worked backward until they reached Mayo. He became the first person charged with human trafficking in Denve... [more]
February 16, 2012
Mexico Arrests Four in Sex Trafficking Ring
Officials have dismantled a sex trafficking ring in central Mexico which reportedly smuggled teenage girls to the US, where they were forced to work as prostitutes.
Yesterday, the Mexican Attorney General's Office (PGR) publicized the arrest of four individuals who stand accused of running a sex trafficking venture for the past decade. According to PGR deputy Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas, the network was run by members of a family based in the central, poverty-stricken state of Tlaxcala, where they lured girls aged 15 to 18 under false romantic pretenses and eventually smuggled them into the US. Once there, the girls were coerced into working as prostitutes in New York.
Cuitlahuac told local press that the investigation into the case began in January 2011, in response to concerns raised by the US Embassy in Mexico. While the full extent of the network is unknown, it is believed that at least seven oth... [more]
February 16, 2012
Alleged sex traffickers nabbed
BILOXI -- Biloxi police have investigated at least two cases of human trafficking in South Mississippi, one of which has resulted in jail time for two, court records show.
Biloxi police in 2010 arrested Derick Howard Duke, 47, and Amanda Lynn Duke, 24, on a charge of procuring sexual servitude of a minor under the anti-human trafficking act.
In January 2011, a Harrison County grand jury ruled there was enough evidence to indict the two. According to the indictment, the pair solicited a minor to engage in human trafficking when they offered her for sex with others in exchange for cash or other valuables.
Biloxi police Sgt. Aldon Helmert said authorities received a tip about Amanda Duke “pimping out a 16-year-old.”
He said both Amanda and Derick Duke were being paid for the girl's forced work in prostitution.
“Amanda was collecting money and in turn would buy drugs with that money,” Helmert said. Deri... [more]
My Fox Houston
February 15, 2012
Sex Trafficking Victim Builds New Life
HOUSTON - Fox 26 is exposing one of the biggest crimes in Houston, human trafficking. We have a rare interview with one young victim seduced, duped and forced into Houston's sex trade as a child.
It's rare because few victims are ever rescued and able to talk about the horror they endured.
In Mexico there aren't many opportunities for girls like Maria except the promise of love.
"A man made me fall in love with him in Mexico. I was in love with him. I loved him very much because he was my first boyfriend," she said through a translator.
Three years ago that boyfriend, a man twice her age, smuggled the then 16-year-old from Mexico to a home in Houston. He told her dreams come true here. But in Houston her nightmare began.
"I would cry out of desperation," she said.
Maria's so called boyfriend put her to work almost immediately as a sex slave at apartment complexes and inside cantinas. ... [more]
February 15, 2012
Monterey human trafficking case began with tip on Bay Area runaway, police say
Monterey police said the investigation that resulted in the arrest of a woman on suspicion of human trafficking began last week after they received a tip alleging a runaway teenage girl had been brought to Monterey for purposes of prostitution.
Aaliya Solange Ali Person, 35, also known as Lisa Louise Banner, was taken into custody Feb. 8.
Police Lt. Leslie Sonné said a search warrant served on Person's home on Blue Larkspur Lane turned up evidence related to the investigation, as well as drugs.
Person had been living with her father at his Blue Larkspur residence. He is not a suspect in the case, Sonné said.
Monterey County court records show the father has guardianship over Person's two daughters, who are minors. Sonné said the children were not taken into custody by Child Protective Services.
Police investigators are looking into whether Pers... [more]
February 15, 2012
Pinoy couple sentenced for trafficking caregivers
LOS ANGELES - A Filipino couple has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for running a human trafficking scheme in Paso Robles in California.
Maximino and Melinda Morales were sentenced Monday and were ordered to pay their victims US$600,000 in restitution.
The couple pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers last May.
Prosecutors say the Moraleses brought caregivers from the Philippines to the United States illegally.
They then forced their workers to live in closets, garages, and hallway floors, confiscated their passports and threatened them with deportation when they try to resign.
They even deducted money from their salaries as payment for bringing them into the US
February 15, 2012
Two Tulsa Men Charged With Federal Sex Trafficking
Tulsa - Two Tulsa men were indicted by a federal grand jury and arraigned on human trafficking charges Tuesday.
Ignacio Ijom-Brito and Antonio Felix Velasquez-Lopez are charged with Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, and Coercion.
This comes after Tulsa law enforcement officials said police busted a sex ring at two Tulsa apartment complexes on Jan. 19th.
Four men were arrested and three, including Velasquez-Lopez, reportedly admitted to their role in the sex ring.
According to U.S. Attorney Thomas Scott Woodward, the men allegedly made a woman from Mexico prostitute herself for their financial gain.
According to affidavits, she told investigators that a guard watched over her and others -- and charged individuals $30 for 15-minutes of sex.
Authorities said Ijom-Brito and Velasquez-Lopez allegedly kept the woman in an apartment where she was forced and coerced to have sex with mu... [more]
NY Daily News
February 14, 2012
Deaf girl: I was kept in UK cellar as sex slave
Locked in a cellar where she was allegedly raped and beaten for nearly a decade, a young deaf and mute Pakistani woman told a U.K. court on Monday how she was trafficked into Britain and forced to work as a virtual slave.
The woman, whose age is not known, said she was around 10 when she was brought to the northern city of Manchester as a domestic servant in 2000. She cannot be identified for legal reasons.
A Pakistani couple — 83-year-old Ilyas Ashar and his wife, 66-year-old Tallat Ashar — are charged with false imprisonment, human trafficking, sexual offenses, violence and benefit fraud. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Speaking through an interpreter and using sign language, the woman — thought to be 19 or in her 20s — described how she was allegedly hit with a rolling pin while forced to work for no money, made to sleep on a concrete floor in a bolted cellar and sexua... [more]
February 10, 2012
Supply-Chain Software Tapped to Manage Calif. Human-Trafficking Law
When California's new Transparency in Supply Chains Act went into effect on Jan. 1, apparel companies found themselves under increased scrutiny to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains.
Known as SB657, the act mandates that all retailers and manufacturers doing business in California with annual worldwide gross receipts over $100 million must provide verification of transparency by monitoring supplier information and providing training for company employees and supply-management staff on human trafficking and slavery.
California companies that fall below the $100 million annual-sales threshold can all find themselves required to provide similar information to their major retailers and customers who do meet the law's threshold.
“Organizations have to be able to keep track of compliance with their vendor base,” Bob... [more]
February 9, 2012
2 accused of pimping out a 14-year old girl in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Two adults are under arrest, accused of using a 14-year-old girl as a prostitute. Detectives caught them by going on the internet, and seeing the girl's picture on a website that offers escorts.
Police say that 14-year-old worked out of room 221 at the Days Inn on 45th Street in West Palm Beach. She was turning tricks with men who saw her ad on the internet for escort and prostitution services and came to motel to pay her for sex.
One expert, a retired DEA agent, says it's a bigger problem than many people realize.
"The problem is humongous. I can't think of a better word. Florida is rated number two or three in the nation for human trafficking," said Tony Attanasio, retired DEA agent.
Investigators say 22-year-old Mandi Bowman, a prostitute, took photos of the 14-year-old girl, posted the pictures of her on a website called Backpage.com and showed... [more]
UT San Diego
February 8, 2012
Anti-human trafficking campaign kicks off in San Diego
San Diego political and community leaders gathered Wednesday to kickoff a signature gathering campaign for an initiative that aims to tighten laws against human trafficking in California.
"The current protections in place are not enough," said Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, at the event. "It is not just a problem in foreign countries. It is a problem right here in California."
The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, sponsored by Fremont-Based California Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation, would update state laws around trafficking and mandate training for local law enforcement. In addition the Act includes provisions to increase prison terms for human traffickers, increase fines for human traffickers to fund victim services, require sex traffickers to register as sex offenders and require that all sex offenders disclose internet accounts.
February 8, 2012
Human Trafficking Survivor Honored, Shares Story
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - Gov. John Kasich awarded a Governor's Courage Medal to a survivor and advocate of human trafficking on Tuesday.
Theresa Flores was forced into sexual slavery at a young age and survived to tell her story, and Kasich said the state needed more resources like her to fight human trafficking , 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported.
"Her courage has helped her to turn her experience around and make a difference in countless lives," Kasich said.
Flores said she was drugged and raped by a classmate when she was 15, McEntyre reported. She said that she thought it was the worst thing that could happen to her, but the torture continued.
"A couple of days later he came to me and said we have pictures of you, and we're going to show them to everybody unless you do what we say," Flores said.
Flores said that she shared her story because she is not alone. Her body was used for profi... [more]
Asia One News
February 2, 2012
Thai girls 'forced into sex slavery' in Australia
SYDNEY - A man accused of luring three Thai girls to Australia on student visas and then forcing them to work at his Sydney brothel was charged with trafficking and sex slavery offences on Thursday.
The 42-year-old, reported to be a Chinese-Cambodian, was arrested in Sydney overnight following a tip-off from a welfare agency working with the alleged victims, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said.
"The AFP will allege the women were told they were travelling to Australia on student visas, but upon arrival had their passports confiscated and were taken to the brothel, where they were held against their will," police said.
The man was charged with eight offences related to human trafficking and sex slavery, the most serious carrying a maximum 20-year jail term.
Trafficking of girls from Asia, particularly Thailand, is a problem in Australia and police said it was "abhorrent" for t... [more]
February 1, 2012
Advocates Enlisting Truckers In Fight Against Human Trafficking
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A national non-profit organization is teaming up with the California Trucking Association in hopes of teaching truck drivers how to spot and report sex trafficking suspects out on the road.
The group Truckers Against Trafficking says California is one of the worst states when it comes to human trafficking, but advocates hope to use the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers on the roads within the state to give investigators the edge.
Roughly 4,000 companies are members of the California Truckers Association. That translates to roughly 700,000 drivers who can be trained to spot the problem.
“They are going to be on the look out for human trafficking, sex trafficking and trafficking of young children,” said CTA spokesman Michael Shaw.
Trucking companies are getting training DVDs and cards with tips on how to spot and report suspicious behavior. Truck driver... [more]
Courthouse News Service
February 1, 2012
Vietnam, U.S. Clothiers Sued in Grim Overseas Labor Complaint
HOUSTON (CN) - More than 100 Vietnamese nationals say they were "assaulted, imprisoned, defrauded, and treated like indentured servants" making clothes for U.S. companies in Jordan, where labor contractors - and the Vietnamese government - lured them with promises of high-paying jobs.
The workers were starved, beaten, imprisoned at the factory, and at least one died from the abuse, according to the federal complaint. The workers claim defendant U.S. companies Aramark and Academy Sports & Outdoors were part of an "international human trafficking conspiracy," as they contracted the factory to make clothes for them.
Lead plaintiff Thuy Thi Vu aka Phuong-Anh Vu sued a slew of companies and individuals, joined by co-plaintiff Jane and John Doe 1-109s, Boat People SOS, and its director Dr. Nguyen Thang. The lead defendants are W&D Apparel (Jordan) Corp. and its... [more]