22 men indicted as part of human trafficking operation in Brentwood
BRENTWOOD, TN – At least 22 men have been indicted as part of an undercover human trafficking operation in Brentwood.
As part of the sting in early October, two female agents posed as prostitutes on Backpage.com and offered sex for purchase.
During the text message exchanges with dozens and dozens of would-be customers, the agents identified themselves as minors.
According to the TBI, within a three-day period, 22 men showed up for arranged meetings, showing intentions of purchasing sex with a child.
The men were from all different backgrounds. The suspects include a computer programmer, an automotive engineer, a chef and a construction worker.
Eleven of the 22 men who were indicted are still in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Now: @TBInvestigation presser on a human trafficking investigation in Brentwood. pic.twitter.com/FUaMJVM9wI
— Kim St. Onge (@KimWSMV) November 9, 2017
Authorities have arrested nine of the suspects in Williamson County:
NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! will not publish these names, if you wish to see them, you will find them here.
The TBI also sent undercover male agents to respond to advertisements on Backpage.com to try to find potential victims of human trafficking. Two women responded to the ads but declined to receive services from the TBI’s partner nonprofit agency.
The TBI, the Brentwood Police Department, Homeland Security and the office of 21st District Attorney General Kim Helper all assisted in the investigation.
“This is, without doubt, a demand-driven crime, involving men from all kinds of backgrounds,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “We need more men to stand up and talk honestly about how we got here as a culture and what we need to do to fix it. Unless we’re willing to hold one other accountable, we will continue to see too many people victimized by this kind of crime, with no one to blame but ourselves.”
If you would like to help the victims of sex trafficking in Tennessee, visit ithastostop.com.
FBI: Child Sex Trafficking operations conducted in Myrtle Beach, Lumberton
Conway, SC – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Lumberton, North Carolina, were both sites of operations conducted last week as part of a cross-country Federal Bureau of Investigation effort to crack down on underage human trafficking, according to a news release.
The operation, Operation Cross Country XI, resulted in the recovery of 84 minors and the arrest of 120 traffickers from Oct. 12 through Oct. 15, the release from the FBI said.
The youngest victim recovered was 3 months old, and the average age of the recovered victims was 15 years old, the release said.
In one example, on Oct. 13, FBI Denver found two minor girls, one 3-months-old and one 5-years-old, after a friend of the children’s family offered an undercover officer “access to the two children for sexual purposes in exchange for $600,” the release said.
“We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation’s children from harm. Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested—and the number of children recovered—reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray in the release. “This operation isn’t just about taking traffickers off the street. It’s about making sure we offer help and a way out to these young victims who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle of abuse.”
FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos, and truck stops, as well as on street corners and internet websites. The operations in the Carolinas happened in Myrtle Beach and Columbia in South Carolina, and Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Lumberton in North Carolina, according to the FBI.
“Child sex trafficking is happening in every community across America,” said National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® President and CEO John Clark, which partnered with the FBI for the operation. “We’re proud to work with the FBI on Operation Cross Country to help find and recover child victims. We hope OCC generates more awareness about this crisis impacting our nation’s children.”
This is the 11th iteration of the FBI-led Operation Cross Country (OCC), which took place this year in 55 FBI field offices and involved 78 state and local task forces, consisting of hundreds of law enforcement partners. This year’s coordinated operations took place with several international partners, including Canada (Operation Northern Spotlight), the United Kingdom (Aident 8), Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
Operation Cross Country XIis part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003 and has yielded more than 6,500 child identifications and locations. For additional information on Operation Cross Country XI and the Innocence Lost initiative, please visitwww.fbi.gov.
24-Hour HOTLINE 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) If you think you have seen a missing child, contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Report Child Sexual Exploitation Use the CyberTipline to report child sexual exploitation.
Mother Accused Of Child Abuse After Baby Ear Piercing Video Goes Viral
I want to pass along a word of caution. My 2nd GrandSon’s name is 2 Hearts. The first X-Ray showed nothing out of the ordinary, the second showed the same dark shape as the first, which the Doctor said was his heart and right near the top of the X-Ray was the shiny shape of a heart. After surgery, it was the small gold heart earring my Daughter-in-Law had lost.
A controversial video of a baby’s ears being pierced has sparked a fierce debate online with some even regarding it as ‘child abuse.’
The short clip, which is believed to have been filmed in the US, surfaced on the Piercings Facebook page earlier this month and has caused outrage with more than 3.6 million views and 12,000 comments.
In the video, a young baby is being held by her mother as the salon worker attempts to place marker dots on her ears.
While she seems at ease at first, the child appears to become increasingly distressed as the procedure takes place.
After two workers puncture the baby’s lobes at the same time using a piercing gun, the startled youngster cries out while the mother and staff do their best to comfort her.
Concerned by the footage, the vast majority of comments range from disbelief to hatred, with many calling it ‘child abuse.’
“Barbaric! Why would anyone do this to a baby?” one Facebook user wrote.
Another added, “All done for the sake of the parents, should be an age limit to stop this from happening.”
WOW…. 3.6 Million views and 12,000 comments. You know, I wonder why Children still aren’t safe after 7,000 years, and I wonder how anyone can think the murder of an unborn Child should be legal.
UT study: More than 313,000 victims of
labor, sex trafficking in Texas
There are likely more than 313,000 victims of labor and sex trafficking in Texas, and roughly a fourth of them are children and people under the age of 26 who have been forced into prostitution, based on estimates from a University of Texas study.
These estimates “remain a conservative understatement of the prevalence of human trafficking in Texas,” wrote the team of professors and others with UT’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the university’s School of Social Work who authored the report, published last month. They also concluded that labor trafficking is a significant issue in Texas that “is woefully under-studied and perhaps ignored as a policy area.”
The study focused on people of all ages who work under involuntary servitude or debt bondage.
According to the study, an estimated 234,000 people of all ages work under involuntary servitude or debt bondage in Texas. Meanwhile, about 79,000 children and young adults are coerced or deceived into prostitution, the study found.
The authors said their study is so comprehensive that they hope it will serve as a point of reference for law enforcement as well as other government agencies as they seek to reduce human trafficking in the state.
Officials at a recent press conference with state Attorney General Ken Paxton said that Texas is a hub of human trafficking in the United States, and Houston specifically has the highest number of human trafficking victims in the country.
“Many think this is just international victims, but it’s not,” state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said at the press conference earlier this month. “It’s all our children, of every race and both genders. It’s all around us.”
In Austin and throughout the state, sex trafficking is reported far more often than labor trafficking, according to the study and Austin police Sgt. Maria Calagna, who leads the Austin Police Department’s Human Trafficking and Vice Unit.
“It’s not that the labor trafficking cases don’t happen, it’s just that they don’t get reported as often,” Calagna said.
Calagna agreed with Huffman’s statement that the victims and perpetrators she deals with can be from Austin, from Texas or from another country.
“When you think about the terminology ‘human trafficking,’ it makes you think of movement from one place to another,” but that’s not always the case, she said.
According to the study, children and young adults who are homeless or in the foster care system have the highest risk of becoming involved in sex trafficking.
“We like to say we’re victim-centered,” Calagna said of her unit. “Everything we do is based on how we can help them and make sure they get the resources and the help that they need to get out of their situation.”
For people not familiar with these kinds of cases, it can be hard to understand why sex trafficking victims don’t just run away, Calagna said.
“There can be several different ways the suspects will, in a sense, trap the victims psychologically. … Sometimes they’re promised a better life,” she said.
As for labor trafficking, the industries most likely to harbor these kinds of victims are cleaning services, construction, farm workers, restaurant kitchen workers, landscaping or grounds keeping workers and nail salon workers, the study said.
My post on January 30, 2016 had a dead link, and I already knew this was one I enjoyed, because Senator John McCain got so upset with Mark Greenberg and CPS, that he walked out of the bipartisan congressional investigation. The article led the reader to believe that possibly 10 – 30 Children were “missing”, when the link was fixed that number had grown to 90,000+ Children.
Lawmakers say Obama administration delivered
illegal immigrant children to predators
The Obama administration sent illegal immigrant children into “modern-day slavery” by turning them over to sponsors who forced them into child labor or subjected them to sexual abuse, members of Congress said Thursday as they demanded that top child protection officials explain how it could have happened.
Social workers don’t verify all sponsors’ identities, don’t make site visits to see the conditions they’re sending the children to, don’t insist on follow-up visits to see how the kids are doing and don’t consider serious criminal records — including child sex charges — automatic disqualification for hosting a child, congressional investigators said.
As a result, the government delivered children into the hands of what amounted to sexual predators or abusers or placed them into abject poverty, investigators detailed in a report about malfeasance at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.
One girl was sent to live with a man who claimed he was her cousin and who had paid to smuggle her into the U.S. It turned out he wasn’t related at all, but instead had paid to bring the girl — with her mother’s encouragement — on the understanding that she would become his wife. She became uncomfortable with their sexual relationship, came forward to report the real story and was taken into child protective services.
In another case, a boy was turned over to a man who posed as a relative, but was in fact connected to smugglers who forced the child to work almost 12 hours a day to pay off the $6,500 his mother gave to smuggle him into the U.S., congressional investigators said. That situation is so prevalent it has earned a name: debt labor.
Worse yet, the administration acknowledged that it can’t account for each of the 90,000 children it processed and released since the surge peaked in 2014.
“It sounds like everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which conducted a six-month investigation into the government’s handling of the tens of thousands of children who have poured across the border in the past few years.
Mark Greenberg, acting assistant secretary at the Administration for Children and Families, the HHS agency that oversees the handling of the children, stumbled for answers during a two-hour grilling, but said his officers were only following their policies.
He insisted that if there was a fault, it lay with Congress, who needed to rewrite the laws if it wanted his social workers to do more to keep children safe.
“What we’re talking about today is our understanding under the law,” he said.
The Obama administration admits it was overwhelmed when unaccompanied children — those sent on the treacherous journey north without a parent or guardian in tow — streamed across the border at the rate of more than 10,000 a month during the peak in the summer of 2014.
Local communities waged “not in my backyard” campaigns to keep the children from being housed at facilities near them, so the administration looked to quickly process and release the kids. Part of that meant relaxing the checks that were performed.
The Washington Times reported in July 2014, at the height of the surge, that advocates predicted children would be sent to unsafe homes, with one group estimating that as many as 10 percent of the children were being sent to live in unacceptable or dangerous conditions.
But 18 months on, the Obama administration has yet to revoke a single sponsor’s custody agreement, with the administration saying once it has placed a child in the hands of a sponsor — either a relative, family friend or someone else — they no longer have control.
If a sponsor refuses to answer questions and shuts the door in the face of a social worker, there’s nothing the administration can do, Mr. Greenberg told the Senate panel.
“Our view that we don’t have continuing custody after we release a child is a long-standing view,” he said. “If this is an area where Congress wants the law to be different, Congress should change the law.”
HHS did not disqualify families even if the sponsor was an illegal immigrant in danger of being deported himself.
Home visits are made in just 4 percent of the tens of thousands of cases, and it wasn’t until earlier this week — years into the unaccompanied minor crisis — that HHS adopted a new policy preventing children from being shipped to homes where someone has been convicted of a sex crime.
“We’re talking about felony convictions for child abuse. Hello?” said a frustrated Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat.
About 90 percent of the children were sent to live with parents or close relatives, but that left thousands who were placed with other sponsors — often people claiming to be family friends.
The subcommittee investigation found some sponsors tried to claim multiple children, and some addresses were repeatedly listed on sponsorship forms, suggesting that government officials should have spotted something wrong.
In the worst public case so far, investigators said human traffickers used the government’s placement program to sneak kids from Guatemala to the U.S., where HHS processed them at the border, then delivered them to supposed family friends. But the friends turned out to be sponsors-for-hire who, as soon as they collected the kids from HHS, turned them over to the traffickers who were running an egg farm in Marion County, Ohio, and needed the children for cheap labor.
The children were forced to work 12-hour days, six or seven days a week, and lived together in a dilapidated trailer. The traffickers withheld paychecks and threatened their families back home in Guatemala to intimidate the children, Mr. Portman said.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard. But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers,” he said.