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Westlake Legal Group > Andrew Keiper

Election panel complaint focuses on Castro release of Trump donor IDs

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6069845499001_6069841201001-vs Election panel complaint focuses on Castro release of Trump donor IDs fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 50ea23a1-b977-5da9-8a00-971de53c79f0

First he drew the ire of Twitter and Republican lawmakers when he released the names and employers of Trump donors in Texas; now Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, has been hit with an official Federal Election Committee (FEC) complaint over the controversial action.

MAN WRONGLY OUTED AS TRUMP DONOR BY CASTRO, FORCED TO GO OVER ‘SITUATIONAL AWARENESS’ WTH WIFE, KIDS 

On Friday, conservative lawyer Dan Backer filed an FEC complaint alleging that Castro’s actions violated the Federal Election Committee Act by encouraging harassment of the donors.

“By exposing Trump donors — and one of his own as well — to bullying and intimidation, Castro broke the law, and it’s high time we hold him accountable for his despicable, cowardly actions,” Backer said.

Also included in the alleged violation is a precedent set by a 1989 court case that grants regular citizens “practical obscurity,” even though their donations are a matter of public record.

It’s alleged that by exposing their employers, though not their addresses or contact information, Castro put the donors at risk for harassment and violence by the “radical left.”

Castro, the brother of 2020 Democratic nominee for president Julián Castro, has been a member of Congress since 2013. After he posted the names and employers of 44 Trump donors, which coincidentally included one of his own, he drew widespread condemnation from Republicans.

“No one was targeted or harassed in my post. You know that. All that info is routinely published,” Castro said on Twitter in response to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s criticism. Castro then pivoted to condemn the president’s rhetoric, which was mirrored in the manifesto of a white nationalist mass shooter in El Paso. He killed 22 in a rampage at a Walmart last week.

Castro released the donors’ information in the wake of two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. He reasoned on Twitter that “Trump spends donor money on thousands of ads about Hispanics ‘invading’ America.”

His congressional office did not reply to requests for comment by the time this article was published.

Backer, who runs the conservative free speech nonprofit the Coolidge-Reagan Foundation, said political donations have been upheld consistently by courts as one of the most protected forms of speech.

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“He did this to shame thee people and cause them some form of harm for participating in the political system,” Backer said.

In recent months, he filed an FEC complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for alleged campaign finance violations committed by her and her former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. The case has yet to be resolved.

In an interview with Fox News, Backer made no bones about the publicity and outcome he hopes will come from the complaint. He said his foundation will be using the Castro complaint to education and raise awareness on free speech issues, and he hopes the FEC “throws the book” at the Texas congressman.

“It is an incredibly dangerous precedent, I am shocked by this,” Backer said. “… There is a reason this is frowned upon, because it violates our social norms and good sense.”

In addition to the action by Backer, seven House Republicans led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., sent a letter Friday to the House Ethics Committee asking the panel to look into Castro’s conduct.

The Republicans wrote to Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Ranking Member Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, saying that Castro “sought to encourage harassment against those citizens simply on the basis of their political beliefs.”

“Whether he intended to provoke physical violence or merely verbal harassment, his intent was to chill the free speech and free association rights of Americans,” the letter said. “This behavior cannot be tolerated by a member of this institution.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6069845499001_6069841201001-vs Election panel complaint focuses on Castro release of Trump donor IDs fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 50ea23a1-b977-5da9-8a00-971de53c79f0   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6069845499001_6069841201001-vs Election panel complaint focuses on Castro release of Trump donor IDs fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 50ea23a1-b977-5da9-8a00-971de53c79f0

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Buttigieg releases plan to battle domestic terrorism in wake of shooting massacres

In the wake of the dual massacres in El Paso and Dayton, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday released a comprehensive campaign proposal that he argues will do more to protect Americans from homegrown violence.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor spoke out firmly against white nationalist violence in the hours following the massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, which killed 22. His policy proposal would invest $1 billion to “prevent and combat radicalization and violent extremism.”

DEMOCRATS DENOUNCE WHITE NATIONALISM AFTER EL PASO MASSACRE

Among the tent poles of the policy are efforts to bolster law enforcement with resources to prevent domestic terror attacks before they occur, stop radicalization and the spread of extremist violence online, and reform gun laws to keep firearms from people who shouldn’t have them.

Westlake Legal Group 54a0f79b-Pete-Buttigieg-AP Buttigieg releases plan to battle domestic terrorism in wake of shooting massacres fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 4dca67e9-6d20-5726-888b-af22c317acdc

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg addresses the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Annual International Convention in Chicago, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

The $1 billion Buttigieg is pledging to law enforcement would specifically be spent expanding the FBI’s ability to prevent domestic terror attacks by expanding its domestic counterterrorism field staff. The campaign cites a congressional testimony by the senior vice president of programs for the Anti-Defamation League.

In the testimony, George Selim references a study that found that 71 percent of Islamist-inspired terrorism arrests in the United States occurred in the planning phase before the violence occurred. However, with far-right extremists in America, the opposite is true; over 71 percent of American far-right extremists successfully carried out violent acts before their death or arrest.

Buttigieg’s plan would also reinvest in the Department of Homeland Security by undoing cuts imposed by the Trump administration on the agency – and specifically its staff dedicated to fighting violent extremism.

Expanding the focus of law enforcement and the intelligence communities on domestic terror attacks, like the one in El Paso, would be effective in mitigating some of the violence, said Scott Stewart, a counterterrorism expert at Stratfor and former investigator for the State Department.

Trying to limit access to weapons by dangerous people is probably a good idea. … It’s crazy to me that someone with rape and kill lists was able to buy a gun legally.

— Scott Stewart, Stratfor terrorism expert

Much of that increased focus should be on predictive behavior, he said, which identifies warning signs and helps law enforcement intervene before a bullet is fired.

Most of these shooters, Stewart said, have a long trail of warning signs.

“Trying to limit access to weapons by dangerous people is probably a good idea. … It’s crazy to me that someone with rape and kill lists was able to buy a gun legally,” he said in reference to the man who opened fire on a crowd outside a bar in Dayton, killing nine.

Westlake Legal Group AP19216436979417 Buttigieg releases plan to battle domestic terrorism in wake of shooting massacres fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 4dca67e9-6d20-5726-888b-af22c317acdc

Police tape drapes over a chair near a pile of shoes after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday, Aug, 4, 2019. (Marshall Gorby/Dayton Daily News via AP)

Instituting universal background checks, closing the “boyfriend loophole,” supporting red flag laws and banning assault weapons are a few of the gun law reforms Buttigieg outlines in his policy.

A critical portion of counterterrorism in recent years has been closing down propaganda and recruitment networks online. Pushing the Islamic State from Twitter and other mainstream web platforms was critical in stemming the flow of recruits and support for the organization.

DOMESTIC TERRORIST HUNT: WHO’S GOING TO CATCH THEM AND HOW?

Attacking the online platforms used by white nationalists in America is more difficult, given the First Amendment protections they are afforded. Buttigieg’s plan calls for coordination between social media platforms and the government to “limit the spread of hateful ideology.”

The policy recognizes the limitation of enforcing speech online, stating that platforms can “identify and track far-right extremism, within the boundaries of internet companies’ terms of service and consistent with the First Amendment.”

The white supremacists, I believe recently, have begun to copy the kind of propaganda that ISIS has used.

— Scott Stewart, Stratfor terrorism expert

“There is a lot that the social media companies can do, depending on how they frame their terms of service,” Stewart said. “… The more you force it underground, the more it impedes their ability to recruit new adherents to the ideology.”

Stewart said the rise of mass shooters who act without group affiliation is reflected both in American domestic terrorism and jihadism abroad.

“The white supremacists, I believe recently, have begun to copy the kind of propaganda that ISIS has used,” Stewart said. “These [white supremacists] have been there forever, but they didn’t have the same kind of overt violence, glorifying violence, thing that we have now with these newer sites.”

Increasingly, domestic terrorists are acting alone. After the law enforcement cracked down on white supremacist organizations in the 1980s, they began embracing “leadership resistance.”

“That’s what the white supremacist group is today,” Stewart said. “There is no white supremacist version of the Islamic State, there is not white supremacist equivalent of Al Qaeda. They’re consuming this propaganda and acting on their own.”

Westlake Legal Group 54a0f79b-Pete-Buttigieg-AP Buttigieg releases plan to battle domestic terrorism in wake of shooting massacres fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 4dca67e9-6d20-5726-888b-af22c317acdc   Westlake Legal Group 54a0f79b-Pete-Buttigieg-AP Buttigieg releases plan to battle domestic terrorism in wake of shooting massacres fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/newsedge/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 4dca67e9-6d20-5726-888b-af22c317acdc

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Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre

On Saturday, after news broke that a gunman opened fire on shoppers in El Paso, Texas, a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates denounced white nationalism and the epidemic of gun violence in America.

One by one, the candidates spoke to a gaggle of reporters covering the AFSCME Public Service Forum in Las Vegas about the shooting; issuing statements, plans and condolences for 20 killed and 26 injured.

A visibly upset Beto O’Rourke was one of the first to deliver a statement shortly after news broke that there was an active shooter at a Walmart in El Paso. He said he’d be canceling multiple days of campaign events in Nevada and California to return to his hometown to be with his family and former constituents.

EL PASO SHOOTING LEAVES 20 DEAD, 26 INJURED; INVESTIGATORS PROBING POTENTIAL ‘NEXUS TO HATE CRIME’

“We know that there’s a lot of injury, a lot of suffering in El Paso right now,” O’Rourke said. “I’m incredibly sad and it’s hard to think about this.”

Every candidate who spoke following the shooting addressed it, while several explicitly spoke out against white nationalism and few linked the shooting to the president.

Among those with the most candor was South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who named white nationalist violence as one of the greatest threats to the nation’s security. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said authorities were looking into the shooter’s motivations and said there may be a “nexus to a hate crime.”

“America is under attack by lethal, violent white nationalist terrorism,” Buttigieg said. “… This is a national security emergency. It is killing Americans just as it is killing people around the world.”

“America is under attack by lethal, violent white nationalist terrorism. … This is a national security emergency. It is killing Americans just as it is killing people around the world.” 

— Pete Buttigieg

Westlake Legal Group AP19185755160116 Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 702598e1-0768-50cb-9ec1-d693dcb3f963

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks July 4, 2019, in Carroll, Iowa. (Associated Press)

He said that until the nation is ready to confront the rash of racially motivated violence it has suffered — and implement reforms to gun laws — it will remain vulnerable to domestic terrorist attacks. The tragedy in El Paso was 250th mass shooting in America in 2019.

Buttigieg, when asked about why he was qualified to comment on white nationalism, cited his military record. According to documents obtained by ABC 57 in South Bend, the mayor was placed in the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell (AFTC). The documents said the AFTC often “identifies and disrupts Taliban, Al-Qaida and other insurgent financial support networks in Afghanistan.”

“Counterterrorism was my specialty in the military, and I know a little bit about what’s involved,” Buttigieg said. “I specialized in dealing with terrorism abroad, but I learned a lot that, sadly, will be applicable here at home.”

“I specialized in dealing with terrorism abroad, but I learned a lot that, sadly, will be applicable here at home.” 

— Pete Buttigieg

The mayor, who is polling around 6 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics’ average, also took a jab at Donald Trump, stopping just short of placing the onus of the massacre on his shoulders.

“The President of the United States is condoning white nationalism,” Buttigieg said. “White nationalism is one of the evils that is motivating and inspiring at least some people to go kill Americans. The president has a responsibility to nip this in the bud.”

He said the government needs to develop a national strategy to prioritize resources to deradicalizing and defending from white nationalist violence.

Trump took to Twitter to give statements on the shooting. In one tweet, he pledged the full support of the federal government to Gov. Greg Abbott. In another, he said “it was an act of cowardice” and he condemned the “hateful act.”

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee similarly decried the act of violence and went further in accusing the president of being complicit by way of his divisive rhetoric and race relations.

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“The first order of business to reduce white nationalism is to eliminate white nationalism in our White House,” Inslee said. “The sentiments of fear and division, and outright racism, that this president has emboldened out to be sickening to anyone.”

He went on to remark that fear and division are “Donald Trump’s stock-in-trade” and that the country deserved someone who work to heal its historically wounded relationship with race.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067771854001_6067770477001-vs Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 702598e1-0768-50cb-9ec1-d693dcb3f963   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067771854001_6067770477001-vs Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 702598e1-0768-50cb-9ec1-d693dcb3f963

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16-year-old’s killer back in jail after parole violation

Richard LaBarbera, who murdered 16-year-old Paula Bohovesky in 1980, is back in jail for violating the conditions of his parole, authorities confirmed to Fox News.

LaBarbera’s controversial early release from prison in early July sparked pushback from the community and the Bohovesky family. The 66-year-old LaBarbera served had 38 years in prison after being sentenced to 25 years to life.

In a statement, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said: “Parolee Richard LaBarbera has violated the conditions of his parole, in an important respect, however has not committed a new crime. He is currently incarcerated at the Erie County Jail. A hearing before an administrative law judge will be scheduled to address his violations.”

It was not known at the time of publication what specific violation led to his rearrest.

Westlake Legal Group Robert-McCain-Richard-LaBarbera 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291

Robert McCain, left, and Richard LaBarbera.

LaBarbera and a cohort, Robert McCain, sexually assaulted and killed Bohovesky. The pair were sitting at a bar when the saw the teen walking home. They attacked her just blocks from her family’s home.

It was then that McCain hit Bohovesky in the head with concrete and began allegedly sexually assaulting her. When LaBarbera began to take advantage of the girl after McCain, she stirred. He then stabbed her repeatedly – killing her.

“I want to express my gratitude to the parole officers in Erie County for keeping a close watch on Richard LaBarbera and doing what the New York State Parole Board failed to do; keeping this child killer in jail,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement. “This monster does not deserve to walk free on our streets while our community still suffers from the loss and pain he caused.
“He committed murder, a crime of permanency, and should be permanently in jail.”
Westlake Legal Group PaulaBohovesky 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291

Paula Bohovesky, 16, in an undated photo. (Bohovesky family photo)

The decision by the parole board resulted in lawsuits and condemnation. The Bohovesky family and a nonprofit organization filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court asking that LaBarbera be given another hearing with all board members present.

They also asked him to be kept five counties from Pearl River, N.Y., where he murdered Bohovesky, to protect her mother.

‘SO HIDEOUS’ THAT 16-YEAR-OLD NEW YORK GIRL’S KILLER IS BEING RELEASED, PATAKI SAYS IN PLEA TO CUOMO

In the end, LaBarbera was granted his freedom – and was required to be three counties from Rockland County and Pearl River.

“I’m not surprised,” Lois Bohovesky, the 87-year-old mother of Paula, told The Journal News. “I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly.”

The release of LaBarbera even drew the ire of former New York Gov. George Pataki, who came out against his parole.

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“I have been very careful about not commenting on state government policies since I left office,” Pataki told Fox News when his parole was being considered. “But this release of this rapist and murderer is so hideous to me, I really feel an obligation to speak out so that first, hopefully, it won’t happen, but if it sadly does, that it won’t happen again.”

Although the state board chose to grant LaBarbera his freedom, however brief it was before his arrest, it opted not to do the same for his accomplice, McCain. Members cited public outcry as playing a role in the decision.

Westlake Legal Group Robert-McCain-Richard-LaBarbera 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291   Westlake Legal Group Robert-McCain-Richard-LaBarbera 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291

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Apollo 11: Playtex’s feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon

It took a feminine touch to make sure Neil Armstrong and his moonwalking cohorts could make their giant leap for mankind and get to the Moon.

Specifically, it took the touch of a few seamstresses from Playtex who honed their detailed set of skills by manufacturing girdles for the women of America. The suits had to be flexible, resilient and able to withstand temperatures as high as 240 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 280 degrees in shadow and at night.

NASA decided in a competition of manufacturers that the suit designed and sewn by the Playtex team provided the astronauts with the flexibility and strength necessary to explore the moon’s new frontier.

APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT MICHAEL COLLINS RECALLS DRINKING COFFEE DURING ‘LONELY’ MOON LANDING ORBIT

And the expert craftswomen who helped manufacture the state of the art suit? Just weeks before they were sewing baby pants and girdles.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3f4b692333824a04bc621cc319728faa Apollo 11: Playtex's feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc article Andrew Keiper 3bd851bb-ff96-5c7a-9402-e542962899f5

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP)

“They didn’t tell me a thing, they just brought me up here,” said Anna Lee Minner in an interview with CBS News. “… I went home on many a night and cried because I knew I couldn’t do it. I was scared. This was a person’s life this depended on.”

Minner was one of four who helped put together the suits. The others were Joanne Thompson, Lillie Elliott and Ruth Anna Ratledge.

APOLLO 11’S EPIC MISSION TO THE MOON IN PICTURES

The 21-layer suit had to be completely constructed by hand. Each seam and stitch was carefully measured to ensure the utmost accuracy in the hopes that their detailed efforts would help NASA avoid another disaster like the Apollo 1 capsule inferno that killed three astronauts.

“Oh my, I wonder if this is gonna be alright. I hope that stitch didn’t pop.”

— Lillie Elliott

Despite the immense pressure and mountainous stakes, the women were lifted up by the frequent presence of the astronauts themselves.

“We would have astronauts come in and thank us, and that was a real boost,” Thompson told CBS News. “It made a connection there that you didn’t forget.”

APOLLO 11 INSIDERS REMEMBER HISTORY’S MOST FAMOUS SPACE MISSION: ‘WE HAD A JOB TO DO AND WE DID IT’

Finally, on July 20, 1969, the efforts of the women would be tested in the low-gravity environment of the moon.

“Once they started down the ladder, and he put his foot on the moon, that was a pinnacle of watching something that you’ve helped to do,” Elliott told CBS.

As exhilarating as it was seeing their products touch down on a new frontier, the anxiety didn’t abate immediately for the women.

APOLLO 11’S MICHAEL COLLINS REFLECTS ON HISTORIC MOON LANDING: ‘WE WERE JUST REGULAR ASTRONAUTS’

“Oh my, ‘I wonder if that’s gonna hold? Oh my, I wonder if this is gonna be alright. I hope that stitch didn’t pop,’” Elliot said of her worries when watching the lunar landing.

The partnership between NASA and the former undergarment maker remains intact. The same division in Playtex that made the original suits has been spun off into an independent company, ILC Dover, that still manufactures NASA spacesuits to this day.

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Be sure to catch the America’s News HQ Apollo 11 50th anniversary special on Fox News on Saturday, July 20 at 12 PM EDT.

Westlake Legal Group 90b6c9b8-BYEe3dYMa8xSkPzZoufaxK Apollo 11: Playtex's feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc article Andrew Keiper 3bd851bb-ff96-5c7a-9402-e542962899f5   Westlake Legal Group 90b6c9b8-BYEe3dYMa8xSkPzZoufaxK Apollo 11: Playtex's feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc article Andrew Keiper 3bd851bb-ff96-5c7a-9402-e542962899f5

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Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report

The United States is again ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to a recently released report by the State Department, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the Trafficking in Persons report, which is created annually by the State Department to document human trafficking in the year prior, and highlighted the growing focus that government agencies and nonprofit organizations have dedicated to stopping human trafficking. The Department of Justice provided more than $31 million for 45 victim service providers that offered services to trafficking survivors across the country. It was a demonstrable increase; the DOJ only provided $16 million to 18 organizations in 2017, according to the report.

At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand.

Over the last two months, Fox News has investigated human trafficking. We followed the enforcement efforts of FBI agents and police officers, documented the ways advocacy groups protect and serve survivors, and heard heart-wrenching stories of abuse, rape and recovery from numerous victims.

“The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”

— Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking

If there’s one takeaway from our reporting, it’s that the industry is fueled by an unceasing demand. It’s here that officers focus their enforcement actions. And it’s where advocates focus their education efforts to end the illicit trade.

“We have a major issue here in the United States” Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), said in an interview with Fox News. “The United States is the No. 1 consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”

In 2018, the DOJ began 230 federal human trafficking prosecutions, a drop from 282 in 2017. Federal convictions rose from 499 in 2017 to 426 in 2018. More than 70 percent of the cases resulted in jail sentences of more than five years, according to the State Department report.

“These are American kids, American born, 50% to 60% of them coming out of the foster care industry.”

— Geoff Rogers

“We’re also driving the demand with our own people, with our own kids,” Rogers said. “So there are tremendous numbers of kids, a multitude of kids that are being sold as sex slaves today in America. These are American kids, American-born, 50 percent to 60 perform of them coming out of the foster care industry.”

This assertion is confirmed by the State Department’s report, which found that children in foster care, homeless youth, undocumented immigrant children and those with substance abuse problems especially at risk to fall into the human trafficking trap.

Rogers says that because the demand is so great in the U.S., traffickers are filling that demand with an increased supply of forced sex workers.

“So the demand here in the United States is a global one,” he said. “We do have men traveling the globe to go to places like Thailand and other places in East Asia to purchase sex with kids. But, in fact, the demand is so great that the supply has needed to be filled here in the United States.”

“Because of the demand, then these traffickers are filling that demand with supply. And the demand is so great here in the United States that they’re filling the supply with our very own kids,” Rogers continued.

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, over 300,000 of America’s young population is considered at risk for sexual exploitation. It’s also estimated that 199,000 incidents occur within the U.S. each year.

Corporal Alan Wilkett, of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, operates their local Human Trafficking Task Force. He believes the best way to combat the trade is to quell the demand.

Westlake Legal Group Wilkett Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 204281ce-76eb-5675-a828-591c0a8270bf

Pasco County Sheriff’s Corporal Alan Wilkett uses his laptop from his service vehicle.

“Historically, we’ve allowed the sex buyer to hide behind a mask of anonymity and actually call them a ‘John,’” He said in an interview with Fox News. “We don’t even call them by their name, because we let them stay behind that mask. And the only way we’re going to attack the supply side is by going after the demand. And that means the sex buyer needs to be held culpable for the damage and trauma that he or she is causing.”

“Trafficking in America, if you are trafficked in the United States, 85 percent of victims that are trafficked here are from here.”

— Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life

While Wilkett and other law enforcement officers focus on arrests and sting operations, leaders in the nonprofit realm take a more holistic approach to healing survivors. Brook Bello, the founder of anti-trafficking organization More Too Life in Florida, focuses on helping develop skills to lead a successful post-trafficking life.

“We work with victims that are 3 years old and up,” Bello said. “The average victim that we work with, that’s over 18, started being raped at three. Trafficking in America, if you are trafficked in the United States, 85 percent of victims that are trafficked here are from here.”

The State Department’s report similarly echoes the domestic nature of sex trafficking in the United States. Despite the growing focus and concern surrounding human trafficking, gaps exist that leave victims and survivors without the care and resources they need to build a life beyond the abuse.

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Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life in Florida, speaks with another woman.

“Advocates reported a significant lack of services available for men, boys, and LGBTI individuals and noted continued concern that some federal funding opportunities no longer highlight the need for services for LGBTI individuals,” the State Department said in its Trafficking in Persons report. “NGOs and survivor advocates continued to report insufficient access to emergency shelter, transitional housing, and long-term housing options for trafficking victims.”

Progress has been made on this front, but too often too many kids can’t fight their way out of the clutches of their traffickers. In cities across the nation, and along the highways that connect them, police and advocates continue their fight to eradicate human trafficking and heal those who survived.

This is the last article of a six part Fox News investigation into human trafficking in America. You can see the previous five television segments and articles here, One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.

If you are being trafficked or suspect that someone you know is being trafficked contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or CYBERTIPLINE.ORG.

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Human trafficking victims call upon advocates for care

Human trafficking is an issue so complex and wide-ranging that law enforcement alone isn’t enough. Combating these crimes and helping the victims demands the efforts of advocates who operate outside the normal duties of the justice system.

Even government agencies as vast and well-funded as the FBI come up short in their efforts to address every aspect of crime prevention and victim rehabilitation. Case in point: The vast network of advocacy groups relied upon by the FBI to help meet the hierarchy of needs for human trafficking survivors.

“I think that if you do this work for very long, as many of us have, you realize that no one agency can do it all, particularly with these kids, these victims, because their needs are so varied and complex,” Kathryn Turman, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s victim services division. “The NGOs (non-governmental organizations) play a wonderful role because they can raise money, they can provide long-term services.”

Westlake Legal Group KATHRYNTURMAN Human trafficking victims call upon advocates for care Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 564779d2-95f8-5a63-9c03-51b0b2c2e93f

Kathryn Turman, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Victim Services Division.

The problem has attracted swarms of advocates and activists dedicated to education, prevention and post-trafficking care for survivors.

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is an organization founded in 2009 by long-haul truckers to stop the proliferation of sex trafficking among their ranks. The organization hopes to stop trafficking by lessening the demand for trafficking among truckers.

“I see myself as part of a mobile army, and we travel our nation’s highways and byways and we work in conjunction with law enforcement,” Gary Smith, an ambassador with TAT said. “There’s a lot of us daily out on these roads than there is law enforcement.”

Theresa Flores is a sex trafficking survivor who founded the group Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (S.O.A.P.). Her organization functions in several states and puts on outreach programs during large events, like Super Bowls and political conferences, which often attract traffickers.

TRAFFICKING’S INVISIBLE VICTIMS: BOYS TRAPPED IN THE SEX TRADE

Westlake Legal Group THERESAFLORES Human trafficking victims call upon advocates for care Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 564779d2-95f8-5a63-9c03-51b0b2c2e93f

Theresa Flores, the founder of Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution.

Additionally, S.O.A.P. partners “with local organizations to distribute millions of bars of soap wrapped with a red band that gives the National Human Trafficking Hotline number … and resources to high-risk motels,” according to the organization’s website.

“The subproject is a part of many different coalitions and collaboratives,” Flores said. “We’ll go into a city in a state that we’ve never been to, but we have to part with others that are local. That’s what we want to do because when we leave, we want them to continue on the efforts. It’s not just a one-time shot.”

THE ‘VILLAGE’ OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES BATTLING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Westlake Legal Group SOAP Human trafficking victims call upon advocates for care Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 564779d2-95f8-5a63-9c03-51b0b2c2e93f

The bars of soap passed out to motels in high-trafficking areas by Theresa Flores and her advocacy group, S.O.A.P.

Another organizer who has devoted her professional life to fighting trafficking is Andrea Powell. She’s been working with victims of trafficking since 2003, when she founded FAIR Girls, an international anti-trafficking organization. More recently, she started Karana Rising, a Washington D.C.-area nonprofit dedicated to helping survivors of trafficking heal and find meaningful education and employment.

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“We focus on providing young people who were at risk or have experienced trafficking with job skills, life skills and a connection to the community to help them either overcome or stay safe from situations of trafficking,” Powell said of Karana Rising.

Westlake Legal Group SOAP Human trafficking victims call upon advocates for care Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 564779d2-95f8-5a63-9c03-51b0b2c2e93f   Westlake Legal Group SOAP Human trafficking victims call upon advocates for care Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 564779d2-95f8-5a63-9c03-51b0b2c2e93f

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Trafficking’s invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade

If there’s a public face to human trafficking it’s usually that of a young teenage girl, but across the country a new type of victim is increasingly coming to the fore.

More and more, young boys are being preyed upon and exploited in the sex trade, and advocates are beginning to take notice.

Westlake Legal Group boys-home-4 Trafficking's invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 41c6eefc-c924-5b18-afab-0d338f620a23

Geoff Rogers and Kevin Malone at their Florida-based home for boys who have been sex trafficked. (Fox News)

“When you think about the magnitude of the problem, the number of kids being sold for sex here in America, most people think of girls,” Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United State Institute against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), said in an interview with Fox News, “and certainly there’s a tremendous number of girls being sold. But if we look at one particular study funded by the Department of Justice … that study identified an estimated 36 percent of kids that are trafficked are boys.”

While attention is focused on female victims and survivors, most of the public is unaware that boys, some as young as 10, are forced into the dark world of trafficking. Making matter worse, services to help these young men escape a life of trafficking are virtually nonexistent.

“As we traveled the country, we couldn’t find really any services for boys,” Rogers says.

“I realized at the Super Bowl that these traffickers were selling boys, and sometimes dressing them up as little girls, that it kind of opened my eyes to the problem.”

— Kevin Malone

Along with USIAHT co-founder Kevin Malone, Rogers set out to help the young male survivors of trafficking.

“I noticed when I went to the Super Bowl in Phoenix a few years ago, that there were … boys being trafficked there,” Malone, who is also a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, tells Fox News. “What we found, even there, were little boys dressed up as girls and being sold.”

Westlake Legal Group boys-home-2 Trafficking's invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 41c6eefc-c924-5b18-afab-0d338f620a23

Kevin Malone and Geoff Rogers.

“So I think that was the first time I realized, apart from when I was in Thailand and met a 5-year-old boy that had been trafficked, but in America when I realized at the Super Bowl that these traffickers were selling boys, and sometimes dressing them up as little girls, it kind of opened my eyes to the problem,” Malone said.

Exact numbers and the full scope of male victimization are not known. But according to a 2016 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, up to 36 percent of children forced into the U.S. sex industry were male. A 2008 study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice suggests that boys made up nearly half of children who were sexually exploited in New York City.

“Every child and the experiences that they’ve had is very, very different, especially when it comes to the boys.”

— Geoff Rogers

Both Malone and Rogers, through their organization, set out to help these faceless kids, and in 2017 they opened the first safe home for young male trafficking victims.

“This safe home is for young boys that have been sex trafficked. They’re from the ages of 10 to 17. And it’s been an incredible process to work with these young kids, to really learn first-hand the differences between how boys are trafficked compared to girls,” Rogers said. “Because they’ve really — they’ve never seen a program like this before. Every child and the experiences that they’ve had is very, very different, especially when it comes to the boys.”

Westlake Legal Group boyshome-3 Trafficking's invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 41c6eefc-c924-5b18-afab-0d338f620a23

Kevin Malone at his Florida-based home for boys who have been sex trafficked.

Fox News was given unprecedented access to the boys’ home. Opened in 2017 by USIAHT in a remote location of Florida, it’s thought to be the first of its kind in the nation.

The facility can house up to six young male survivors at any given time.

“Over the last two years, we’ve worked with boys 15, 16, 17 years old. That’s been predominantly who we worked with, up until several weeks ago, when we got the first phone call about a 10-year-old boy,” Rogers said. “And so I’ll tell you, from our staff standpoint, I mean, we’ve been working’ with these boys now for two years, but when we got the phone call with the 10-year-old, it was almost like a collective ‘hold your breath.’”

Rogers said each boy’s story puts a spotlight on what is needed to combat this growing situation.

“What we recognize is that’s really on what we’d call the back end of the problem. And so it’s the rescue, the rehabilitation of these victims,” he said.

“So I believe the biggest problem we have is the lack of empathy, and a lack of compassion, and a lack of concern by Americans who really are generally the most loving, and concerning, and giving, and helpful people in the world.”

— Kevin Malone

Many of the residents of the USIAHT’s safe home were coerced into a life of sexual slavery before they were able to leave that existence behind.

Some examples:

•    “Alex” was 13 when he ran away from foster care.  At a bus station, he met a man who offered to let Alex live with him in exchange for sex.  Eventually, the man forced Alex to begin having sex with other men to keep his room in the home.  Alex believed that he had no choice and did not want to go back to foster care, so he complied, fearing that he would have no place live or have meals to eat if he said no.

Alex was discovered and rescued by an undercover police officer after Alex’s picture went up on an escort site.

•    “Ryan” was a teenager when his mom first sold him for sex with an older man.  Eventually, his mom convinced several of Ryan’s friends to sell themselves as well.  Although she paid them a small amount, she kept most of the profits for herself.  Eventually, the sex trafficking ring was discovered by the authorities and Ryan was placed in foster care.

•    “Jonah” was kicked out of his home when he told his parents he was gay.  He was living on the street when two men offered him a room in their house.  It wasn’t long before he learned that this generosity was a ploy.  He was only allowed to stay if he had sex with them and their friends.

“There are no throwaway kids,” Malone said. “Even though 50 to 60 percent are coming out of foster care, those are our kids. We’re a community. We’re a nation. We need to protect our kids.”

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Shoes of the boys who are staying at the Florida-based home.

“So I believe the biggest problem we have is the lack of empathy, and a lack of compassion, and a lack of concern by Americans who really are generally the most loving, and concerning, and giving, and helpful people in the world,” Malone said.

The USIAHT’s safe home is staffed with care workers around the clock to provide service to up to six residents at any given time. They assist with counseling and helping these young men adjust to a normal life.

“And so with these boys, most of them, really all of them now, are going to public school. Some of them now have cellphones that they can check in and check out,” Rogers said. “Some of ’em have some social media access. They’re on Xbox. They’re on the Internet. It’s all monitored, of course.

“But what we’re really doing is trying to give them the most normal environment possible,” Rogers continued. “Because really it’s a recognition that these are just kids. They’re just teenagers.”

Westlake Legal Group boys-home-4 Trafficking's invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 41c6eefc-c924-5b18-afab-0d338f620a23   Westlake Legal Group boys-home-4 Trafficking's invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 41c6eefc-c924-5b18-afab-0d338f620a23

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Boys are invisible victims in sex trafficking

If there’s a public face of the victims of human trafficking it’s usually that of a young teenage girl, but across the country, a new type of victim is increasingly coming to the forefront.

Young boys are increasingly preyed upon and exploited in the sex trade, and advocates are beginning to take notice.

“If we look at one particular study funded by the Department of Justice…that study identified an estimated 36% of kids that are trafficked are boys.”

— Geoff Rogers

“[W]hen you think about the magnitude of the problem, the number of kids being sold for sex here in America, most people think of girls,” Geoff Rogers, Co-Founder of the United State Institute against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) said in an interview with Fox News, “and certainly there’s a tremendous number of girls being sold. But if we look at one particular study funded by the Department of Justice…that study identified an estimated 36% of kids that are trafficked are boys.”

THE ‘VILLAGE’ OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES BATTLING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Westlake Legal Group boys-home-4 Boys are invisible victims in sex trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc f817f2af-070f-5aa5-8605-4d74a887933c article Andrew Keiper

Geoff Rogers and Kevin Malone at their Florida-based home for boys who have been sex trafficked. (Fox News)

Fox News was given unprecedented access to a safe home for boys that was started by the USIAHT Opened in 2017 by the institute in an undisclosed and remote location in Florida, the home is the first in the US that helps young men escape the clutches of human trafficking and start over with the chance at a normal life.

On Tonight’s Fox Report with Jon Scott, you’ll get a first look at the facility, which is currently the only one of its kind in operation.

INSIDE LAW ENFORCEMENT’S EFFORTS TO END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Westlake Legal Group boyshome-3 Boys are invisible victims in sex trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc f817f2af-070f-5aa5-8605-4d74a887933c article Andrew Keiper

Kevin Malone at his Florida-based home for boys who have been sex trafficked. (Fox News)

“This safe home is for young boys that have been sex trafficked. They’re from the ages of 10 to 17. And it’s been an incredible process to work with these young kids, to really learn firsthand the differences between how boys are trafficked compared to girls,” Rogers said. “Because they’ve really– they’ve never seen a program like this before. Every child and the experiences that they’ve had is very, very different, especially when it comes to the boys.”

Exact numbers and scope of male victims are not known but according to a 2016 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, up to 36% of children forced into the U.S. Sex industry were male. A 2008 study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice suggests that boys made up nearly 50 percent of children who were sexually exploited in the City of New York.

The USIAHT’s safe home is staffed with care workers around the clock to provide service to up to six residents at any given time. They assist with counseling and helping these young men adjust to a normal life.

“And so with these boys, most of them, really all of them now, are going to public school. Some of them now have cellphones that they can check in and check out,” Rogers said. “Some of ’em have some social media access. They’re on Xbox. They’re on the internet. It’s all monitored, of course.

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“But what we’re really doing is trying to give them the most normal environment possible. Because really it’s a recognition that these are just kids. They’re just teenagers.”

Westlake Legal Group boys-home-2 Boys are invisible victims in sex trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc f817f2af-070f-5aa5-8605-4d74a887933c article Andrew Keiper   Westlake Legal Group boys-home-2 Boys are invisible victims in sex trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/us/crime fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc f817f2af-070f-5aa5-8605-4d74a887933c article Andrew Keiper

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The ‘village’ of law enforcement agencies battling human trafficking

When people fall prey to sex traffickers, it can take a village of law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations to pull them from the sex work they’re forced to endure. Detectives, officers and FBI agents often coordinate efforts to rescue those who are trapped and put their abusers behind bars.

The ease with which traffickers transport their victims makes the work of investigators and law enforcement agencies even more complicated. The women are often sold online — and raped in person. Much of the police work is done on the Internet, a task that can weigh on investigators enduring long hours and reviewing endless streams of disturbing content.

As part of an ongoing investigation into the practice of human trafficking, in which someone is sold into sexual exploitation or forced labor, Fox News interviewed law enforcement officials at state and federal levels to better understand efforts to stop the shocking practice.

Those corridors are so hot with human trafficking activity that, at times, we put together a task force just to attack those corridors.

— Pasco County Sheriff’s Corporal Alan Wilkett

“They’re hiding in plain sight,” said Cpl. Alan Wilkett, a veteran of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. “The trafficker is comfortable in that there’s such high transit [on the highways] that it becomes difficult to spot the activity.”

Wilkett, who spearheads a human trafficking task force for Pasco County, told Fox that highways are often used to transport trafficking victims from city to city, where they are forced to “work” by their captors.

“If a trafficker is getting his victim from one place to another, for instance, a high-end or high-populace activity that’s happening in Tampa … he’s going to use the I-4 corridor,” Wilkett said. “In fact, those corridors are so hot with human trafficking activity that, at times, we put together a task force just to attack those corridors,” he explained. 

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Pasco County Sheriff’s Cpl. Alan Wilkett uses his laptop from his service vehicle.

Law enforcement task forces, often coordinated between different agencies, are a common tactic to combat a variety of crimes – including human trafficking. Often, the FBI will partner with a local police department to conduct sting operations on traffickers. Such is the case in Toledo, Ohio, where Det. Peter Swartz leads the department’s efforts in the fight.

Swartz, who focuses full time on human trafficking, pulls double duty as a detective for the Toledo Police Department and a field agent for the FBI. He said he sees victims from across the country who have been trafficked through Toledo.

“They were on their way to Florida, Atlanta, Georgia. You know, Orlando, Tampa,” he said. “We know some victims end up there and some of our traffickers end up there,” Swartz told Fox.

A lot of the cases that we work with, the predators, the pimps, the trafficker are getting substantial sentences for turning out our kids.

— Toledo Police Department Detective Peter Swartz

Swartz said he gets fulfillment from the work, even though he’s often dealing with minors who have been trafficked against their will. More importantly, he said the people coercing them into forced sex work are facing consequences.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS MOSTLY UNDERAGE CHILDREN FROM WITHIN THE US

“I think we’ve made a significant difference as far as sex trafficking,” Swartz said. “A lot of the cases that we work with, the predators, the pimps, the trafficker are getting substantial sentences for turning out our kids,” he added.

Having investigators focusing specifically on sex trafficking, like Swartz, has become increasingly important as sex trafficking continues to become more commonplace. In Ohio, the attorney general’s human trafficking commission reported that law enforcement agencies across the state investigated 242 instances of human trafficking in 2017. It made 80 arrests and secured 61 convictions.

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Toledo Police Department Det. Peter Swartz in an interview with Fox News.

Swartz said a large portion of his day consists of following up on tips he’s given by different organizations like Crime Stoppers, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the local Missing Persons Bureau.

“Basically, we use an undercover officer to call an ad that may be advertising for escorting, but we know it’s an ad for prostitution,” Swartz said. “Then we’ll try to recover them and find out what’s going on with them and what led [them] to this work,” he told Fox.

Most of the victims are folks that are in such vulnerable positions they are not able to make their own decisions.

— FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney

The enforcement tactics use by Swartz and the Toledo police are much the same as those used by the FBI. William Sweeney, the assistant director in charge of the New York field office, said the agency has increased its focuses and resources to fight human trafficking.

“Most of the victims are folks that are in such vulnerable positions they are not able to make their own decisions,” Sweeney said, adding that “they are exploited by perpetrators all across the region.”

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Jon Scott talks with Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney and FBI Special Agent Brian Gander.

Sweeney and his agents participate in the FBI’s flagship human trafficking enforcement action, Operation Cross Country. In 2017, the agency conducted its 11th iteration of the sting operation. According to a report released by the bureau, the operation took place “in 55 FBI field offices and involved 78 state and local task forces, consisting of hundreds of law enforcement partners.”

Operation Cross Country XI recovered 84 minors and arrested 120 traffickers. The focus of the operation was specifically on underage victims. Some critics of the effort have complained that the operation needlessly sweeps up willing sex workers, charging them with felonies and further perpetuating a lifestyle of crime. Still, few argue with the necessity of pulling teens from a life of rape and abuse. 

“That renewed focus, I think, has also led to increased reporting and then increased prosecutions and increased attention,” Sweeney said. “So it really seems to feed upon itself – which is good in the fact that we’re helping victims, [and] obviously bad in the fact that you realize how pervasive it actually is.” 

If you are being trafficked or suspect that someone you know is being trafficked contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or CYBERTIPLINE.ORG.

Westlake Legal Group pkg3cover2 The 'village' of law enforcement agencies battling human trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 02e946b1-6874-519f-b715-3a93dd1726cc   Westlake Legal Group pkg3cover2 The 'village' of law enforcement agencies battling human trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 02e946b1-6874-519f-b715-3a93dd1726cc

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