March 21, 2013
Couple accused of planning babysitting business to drug and molest children
A couple is accused of planning babysitting business to exploit and abuse children
The allegations against 35-year-old Bebars Baslan and his girlfriend are stomach turning.
According to court papers, Baslan and 25-year-old Kristen Henry were allegedly planning to front a babysitting business, all with the intention of drugging and abusing children.
Prosecutors didn't want to talk about the case after the couple's arraignment in federal court.
Baslan's defense attorney told reporters he did not commit these crimes.
According to court papers, their plot began to unravel when a confidential informant told the FBI of the couple's plans to sexually exploit children and of their possession of child pornography.
The informant worked with federal authorities providing audio and video recordings.
Neighbors declined to talk about the allegations near the couple's hom... [more]
March 11, 2013
Police: Oklahoma mom tried to sell kids on Facebook for bail money
SEQUOYAH COUNY, Okla. —Sequoyah County police say an Oklahoma mother tried to sell her children on Facebook.
Investigators say Misty Vanhorn contacted an acquaintance and attempted to sell sell 2-year-old and 10-month-old children. Vanhorn wanted $1,000 for the toddler or $4,000 for both kids.
Police say she told them she needed the money "to bail her boyfriend out of jail."
Vanhorn was arrested, according to officers, and could be charged with trafficking children.
March 15, 2013
Two men charged in human trafficking case involving girl in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE - Charges are filed against two men accused of human trafficking.
According to the criminal complaint, Marcus Smith-Reaves is the man cited as being the mastermind behind holding a 17-year-old girl hostage in a house on North 34th Street and demanding that she perform sex acts for money and give him all the cash.
Another man, Julian Woodruff, is accused of helping in the plot where the two held the girl at gunpoint, threatened to drown her in a bathtub by holding her head underwater, and beat her with a curtain rod.
A list of charges against the two includes human trafficking, kidnapping, soliciting a child for prostitution, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The Daily Journal
March 15, 2013
New hotel policy seeks to stem human trafficking in South San Francisco
Hotel guests in South San Francisco will need to give basic information when checking in — a move city officials made in hopes of curbing human trafficking issues.
Under the new rules, hotels will be required to get basic information — like a real name, address and vehicle information — from guests who check in. While most already do this, not all do. Such information will be used to help police should problems arise. The council unanimously approved the new rule but did have questions about enforcement.
Mayor Pro Tem Karyl Matsumoto, for example, said a possible pimp could be deterred by the requirement of offering his or her full name. But without enforcement, a hotel may not actually require a clerk to get the information.
When asked and not able to provide the information, the hotel faces a fine that starts at $100 and goes up based on the number of infrac... [more]
March 12, 2013
Eight Sentenced In Human Trafficking Ring In OKC, Tulsa
OKLAHOMA CITY - Using poker chips to gamble with women's lives and forcing them to have sex against their will. That's the racket some Mexican nationals are accused of running right here in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa.
A judge has sentenced eight people for human trafficking. Federal agents called it "Operation Poker chip" because these sex traffickers would actually sell poker chips to their male clients.
Those clients would then use the poker chips as a way to pick out a girl, and then pay for sex.
The suspects' operation spanned four states, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.
"They'd move these girls on a daily basis," said Danny Williams with the U.S. Attorney's Northern District office in Tulsa. " So sometimes, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack."
One of their victims who managed to escape says she was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico eight yea... [more]
CBS Bay Area
March 13, 2013
2 Arrested In SF After Attempt To Recruit Underage Girl Into Sex Trafficking
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Two men were arrested at Lands End in San Francisco on Monday after one allegedly tried to recruit an underage girl into sex trafficking, police said.
Jaquain Young, 39, was arrested after trying to meet up with the victim at 48th Avenue and Point Lobos on Monday, according to police.
The FBI assisted San Francisco police in arresting Young. He was booked into jail on suspicion of human trafficking, pandering, pimping, participating in a criminal street gang and conspiracy.
A second suspect, Ijeoma Ogbuagu, 25, was also arrested at the scene on suspicion of participating in a criminal street gang, conspiracy and an outstanding felony warrant, police said.
Anyone with additional information about the suspects or the case is asked to call Sgt. Flores with the Police Department's special victims unit at (415) 553-9225.
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Southwest Riverside News Network
March 12, 2013
Moreno Valley woman pleads not guilty to prostituting 14-year-old girl
An 18-year-old Moreno Valley woman accused of pimping out a 14-year-old runaway girl for sexual services pleaded not guilty today to human trafficking and other charges.
Kayla Corinthian Jackson was arrested Thursday at a Moreno Valley motel where she was allegedly keeping the victim, whose name has not been released.
Along with the trafficking count, Jackson was charged with felony pimping, pandering and compelling a child to perform lewd acts. She faces more than a dozen years behind bars if convicted.
Jackson appeared today before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez, who appointed her a public defender, took her plea and set a felony settlement conference in the case for March 21.
Hernandez set bail for Jackson at $85,000.
She is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside.
District Attor... [more]
March 4, 2013
Congress Sends Human Trafficking Bill to Obama
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to pass a Senate-approved version of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), paving the way for President Obama to sign into law the United States' most important tool in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
An estimated 27 million people worldwide are victims of modern-day slavery, and human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, generating over $32 billion in profits to traffickers annually.
The TVPRA reauthorizes key federal anti-trafficking programs for the next four years, provides for new partnerships with cooperating countries to protect children and prevent trafficking, adds new protections for human-trafficking victims, and provides new tools to prosecutors to go after the traffickers who exploit others.
The law expired in 2011, leaving critical programs to ... [more]
Council members Monday approved first reading of ordinance meant to prevent massage parlors serving as prostitution fronts from opening in the city.
HUNTINGTON BEACH – City officials took a first look at tougher regulations for massage businesses after police reported a significant increase in the number of these businesses that serve as a front for prostitution.
Some massage therapists on Monday asked the City Council to delay a vote on the ordinance, saying it could have a negative effect on legitimate massage therapists.
"Nobody wants to get prostitution out of massage as much as massage therapists do," said Joe Bob Smith, manager of the Orange County Massage School's Santa Ana campus. "There's a lot in this ordinance that isn't quite right. We can arrive at something that helps us all."
City Council members approved a first reading of the ordinance, which sets out regulations for massage businesses that want to open in Huntington Beach. The proposal require... [more]