Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label human trafficking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human trafficking. Show all posts

Friday, July 30, 2021

DHS Releases New Resources to Combat Human Trafficking on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons  


Release Date: 
July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released new resources aimed at combatting human trafficking and supporting victims.  The new resources include the first-ever Continued Presence Resource Guide to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies in supporting victims of human trafficking and advancing trafficking investigations and prosecutions.  DHS is also releasing a fact sheet for the business community detailing criminal authorities used for prosecuting forced labor and related offenses in China.  The fact sheet appeals to victims and witnesses of forced labor and other human rights abuses to contact DHS.

“The Department of Homeland Security is leading the fight against the horrific practices of sex trafficking and forced labor,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  “As part of the Department’s victim-centered approach, we are committed to providing victims of these crimes, including noncitizen victims, support and necessary services and to seeking justice on their behalf.  Components, offices, and experts across the Department are part of this critical mission.  With the release of these new resources, we aim to support and inform law enforcement and businesses across the country, and to protect and assist victims of trafficking.”

Continued Presence is a temporary immigration designation provided by law enforcement to noncitizens who may be victims of human trafficking or may be witnesses in investigations, or have filed federal civil actions against their traffickers.  Continued Presence is granted in two-year increments and is renewable.  Recipients are also eligible for certain federal benefits and services.  Continued Presence helps to alleviate victims’ fears about removal, provides victims economic security, and improves victims’ ability to seek justice against their traffickers.  Learn more about the Continued Presence Resource Guide.

DHS is also releasing a fact sheet informing individuals and entities engaged in business in China of the risk of violating federal forced labor law.  This advisory cautions businesses that they are responsible for the labor practices in their supply chains and informs them of the federal laws for prosecuting forced labor and related offenses.  The fact sheet explains that one can face prosecution in U.S. courts and states that, “The federal crime of forced labor does not require that a defendant have imported into the United States any goods produced wholly or in part with forced labor.” 

DHS operates the Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT), led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  With 16 supporting offices and components, CCHT is a DHS-wide effort dedicated to bringing human traffickers to justice, protecting victims of sex trafficking and forced labor, and preventing these terrible crimes from occurring.

DHS is also home to the national public awareness campaign, the Blue Campaign.  The Blue Campaign educates the public, law enforcement, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders through partnerships, advertisements, and social media about the indicators of human trafficking and how to report it. 

Any victim of a federal crime, or a whistleblower or witness to a federal crime, may contact HSI by calling 866-347-2423 or completing a tip form.  A crime victim’s identifying information is protected from disclosure. HSI has Victim Assistance Specialists who can inform crime victims of their rights and ability to receive benefits and services. Informants may remain confidential and may be entitled to compensation, such as a Moiety award. 

Read the fact sheet on criminal authorities for enforcing forced labor.

Learn more about the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking

Learn more about the DHS Blue Campaign.

Learn more about T Nonimmigrant Status (“T Visa”) for victims of human trafficking.

Learn more about U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Trade, Forced Labor Program.


Last Published Date: July 30, 2021

Saturday, January 23, 2021

33 missing children rescued in major human trafficking investigation, FBI says "Operation Los Angels" was based out of Los Angeles


By Peter Aitken | Fox News

A multi-agency human trafficking investigation in Southern California has led to the recovery of 33 missing children, the FBI announced.

A multi-agency human trafficking investigation in Southern California has led to the recovery of 33 missing children, the FBI announced.

At least eight of the children had been sexually exploited, authorities said.

The FBI has seen a spike in human trafficking-related crimes in recent years, with the bureau reporting more than 1,800 pending investigations as of November 2020.

More than two dozen law enforcement agencies and non-governmental agencies participated in "Operation Lost Angels," which began Jan. 11 as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

"The FBI considers human trafficking modern-day slavery, and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims," Assistant FBI Director Kristi K. Johnson said, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles. "While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.

Several of the children returned to commercial sex trafficking after they were located by authorities, either voluntarily or no coercion, requiring authorities to make several interventions.

The operation resulted in the arrest on state charges of one suspected human trafficker and the opening of multiple investigations.

Not all of the children were the victims of severe circumstances, with one child the victim of a noncustodial parental kidnapping, the FBI said.

In 2020, the FBI initiated 664 human trafficking investigations nationwide, making 473 arrests.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or visit

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Trinity Mount Ministries - DHS - BLUE CAMPAIGN - Indicators of Human Trafficking

Indicators of Human Trafficking:

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking. You can also download or order the Blue Campaign indicator card, which is a small plastic card that lists common signs of trafficking and how to report the crime.

Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
Has a child stopped attending school?
Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign, designed to educate the public, law enforcement and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases. Blue Campaign works closely with DHS Components to create general awareness training and materials for law enforcement and others to increase detection of human trafficking, and to identify victims.
Located within the Office of Partnership and Engagement, Blue Campaign leverages partnerships with the private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), law enforcement and state/local authorities to maximize national public engagement on anti-human trafficking efforts. Blue Campaign’s educational awareness objectives consists of two foundational elements, prevention of human trafficking and protection of exploited persons.
To report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement:
To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline:
or text HELP or INFO to
BeFree (233733)

Monday, September 7, 2020

‘Operation Homecoming’: Eight missing children recovered in Indiana, total of 72 children found in federal sweeps

Federal officials have recovered eight missing children through Operation Homecoming. (

By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
INDIANAPOLIS — Eight more missing children have been found as part of “Operation Homecoming,” officials with the U.S. Marshals Service announced.
The federal law enforcement officers searched for the children from Aug. 31 through Sept. 4 as part of a multiagency operation in the Indianapolis area, the Marshals said in a news release.
The children, who were between the ages of 6 and 17, were given to the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Over recent weeks, there have been operations under different names recovering missing children across the country.
“Operation Not Forgotten” saved 26 children and found the location of 13 others, bringing that total to 39.
“Operation Safety Net” found 25 missing and endangered children in Ohio over 20 days, CBS News reported.
Among the three operations, 72 children have been recovered over recent weeks.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

U.S. Marshals rescue another 25 missing and sex-trafficked children

by Peter Heck 

Working with state and local authorities, U.S. Marshals rescued 25 missing and endangered children from Ohio in what remains an ongoing effort called Operation Safety Net.

The missing children ranged in age between 13 and 18 and were found across the state of Ohio and as distant as Miami, Florida.

"These are kids that have been abused, neglected. Some involved in human trafficking," U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot told WOIO-TV. "Sometimes the situations they – they go to, believe it or not, may be better than the situations they left from. We've had some cases where the mother and or father, or both, may have been prostituting their own child."

According to the officers involved, Operation Safety Net will continue for a few more weeks in an effort to locate the roughly 200 missing children from Northeast Ohio alone.

The recent success comes after Operation Not Forgotten rescued 26 missing children and located an additional 13 in Georgia and Florida. Of those 39 victims, authorities report that 15 of them were being trafficked.

A third effort, called Operation Moving Target, led to the arrest of 27 Ohio men in Cuyahoga County for engaging in sexually explicit conversations with undercover agents posing as kids.

The U.S. Marshals have provided a tip line for anyone who might have information about any missing children: 1-866-492-6833.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Trinity Mount Ministries - DHS - Blue Campaign - What's New?

What's New with Blue?

#HumanTrafficking101 Social Media Video Series

Next month, Blue Campaign will launch a #HumanTrafficking101 video series on its social media channels. Each week during June and July we will discuss a human trafficking topic that will provide you with a better understanding of the crime and how to recognize and report it.  
Follow Blue Campaign on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram to see all the #HumanTrafficking101 posts. Comment, like, and share the videos so that your friends and followers can learn more about this crime.

Download Human Trafficking Resources

Human trafficking is a complex crime, but Blue Campaign helps break it down so you can better understand what it is, what it looks like, and how to report it. We offer a number of video and print resources that you can use to inform yourself and your community about the crime.
For example, our animated infographic video (now available in Spanish) can be used to educate individuals about the foundational elements of human trafficking. It clearly defines the crime, explains different types of human trafficking (forced labor, sex trafficking, and domestic servitude), and details actions the public can take to combat it.
infographic video still image. human smuggling does not equal human trafficking.
All resources on our website can be shared via social media, newsletters, trainings, and any platform you use to communicate with your friends, colleagues, and community. To learn more about all the free resources Blue Campaign has available, click here.
A note about orders: Due to COVID-19 impacts on staffing you may experience delays in receiving your Blue Campaign materials order. Thank you for your patience.

News You Can Use

Mayor Turner and City Council Approve Hotel Ordinance to Combat Human Trafficking (Houston Mayor’s Office)
The Houston City Council approved an ordinance requiring hotels to train their employees on human trafficking. Houston is the first major U.S. city to have an anti-human trafficking ordinance and only the second city in the United States after Baltimore.

Social Media Shareables

Tag Blue Campaign on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram using @DHSBlueCampaign. Each month we share content you can distribute on your social channels to raise awareness of human trafficking in your communities.
  • Do you know how to recognize and report #HumanTrafficking? Follow @DHSBlueCampaign to learn more. #HumanTrafficking101
  • Watch and share @DHSBlueCampaign’s #HumanTrafficking101 videos to learn more about the crime.
  • DYK: @DHSBlueCampaign has free downloadable #HumanTrafficking awareness resources in Spanish and other languages. Take a look:  
  • Victims of forced labor can be found in the U.S. and overseas. Learn more about who is vulnerable to this crime through @DHSBlueCampaign:

For more information visit the Blue CampaignTo report suspected human trafficking: 1-866-347-2423
To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Sex Trafficking Operation Run By Polish Immigrants Busted: Feds

The men accused of running the "Norridge Girls" prostitution ring complained the coronavirus cut into their $40,000-a-month profits.

By Jonah Meadows, Patch Staff 

Marcin Ciborowski and Mariusz Daniluk are charged with running a yearslong prostitution ring in Chicago and the suburbs. (Jonah Meadows/Patch, File)

CHICAGO — A pair of undocumented Polish immigrants charged with running a prostitution ring complained in a recorded conversation about how the spread of the coronavirus had disrupted their sex trafficking operation, authorities said.
The two men ran what was known as the "Norridge Girls" prostitution operation, which involved arranging for the arrival of a rotating roster of sex workers from Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, according to federal investigators.
Marcin Ciborowski, also known as "Rafal Golaszewski," was arrested Feb. 14 at O'Hare International Airport. The same day, immigration officials intercepted and turned back a pair of women suspected of working in his prostitution scheme that he had allegedly been waiting to pick up.
Ciborowski, who has been held ever since at the McHenry County Jail, has been arrested at least five times in four states, including twice in Illinois, according to the feds. His most recent arrest was a 2016 DUI charge in Illinois.
Authorities said he has been held in administrative custody pending his removal to Poland, which has been delayed by the cancellation of flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was previously deported in 2002 but arrested again in 2005 after illegally reentering the country, prosecutors said.

Ciborowski told investigators he last entered the country around 2010 after paying $7,000 to a Polish smuggling organization to illegally bring him over the U.S.-Mexico border, and then bought someone else's genuine identity cards for $2,000 from a person he believed had a contact at the Illinois Secretary of State's Office and then managed to obtain a commercial driver's license under the assumed name, according to federal prosecutors.
Investigators learned more about the scheme, which operated out of the Northwest Side of Chicago and several northwest suburbs, including Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village and Rosemont, by reviewing online postings on prostitution-focused forums, according to an affidavit from Oleg Sokolov, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service. Their online advertisements shared common language, including the phrase, "No African American Guys."
After comparing online prostitution ads with travel records, agents identified a dozen suspected Norridge Girl escorts and began interviewing them upon their arrival or departure from the country, the affidavit said.
Several of the women admitted working for the operation and said recruiters had led them to believe they were getting involved with a high-end escort business that involved "travel, gentlemen, yachts, and hotels," but in reality they found themselves working 12-hour days with up to 10 clients, Sokolov said. The leaders of the scheme would take half of their proceeds and occasionally take them to buy groceries or to wire money back to Europe.
One woman said she had been beaten at least 10 times by clients who demanded to have sex without a condom. She gave investigators photos showing her with a bloody nose and bruises, saying the ringleaders of the scheme never did anything to physically abusive clients and warned her against reporting the beatings to police, according to Sokolov's 93-page affidavit.
Another woman told investigators that she believed the ringleaders were able to stay operational for more than eight years at a location in the 7500 block of West Belmont Avenue by paying off local police, the IRS agent said. The operator of a shop on the ground floor of the building was aware of the ongoing prostitution business.
Starting the day after his Valentine's Day arrest at O'Hare, Ciborowski began placing phone calls on the prison phone system to a fellow accused sex trafficker to discuss the details of their prostitution business, according to the affidavit. The phone calls were in Polish and were recorded and translated by authorities.
Mariusz Daniluk, who has been charged alongside Ciborowski with one count of conspiracy to import, "employ, or harbor in any house or other place, aliens for the purpose of prostitution or for any other immoral purpose," continued to operate the Norridge Girl ring after another alleged accomplice, Rafal Surala, was deported back to Poland in November 2019 and after Ciborowski was arrested in February, according to federal prosecutors.
One of the sex workers told investigators she believed Ciborowski was the boss of the operation, according to the affidavit. She said she believed he "did bad things in Poland," such as "cut fingers off." She told agents she was scared to talk about more about Ciborowski or Surala out of fear for what they might do to her or her family, and she believed both were involved in organized crime.
Like Ciborowski, Daniluk did not have lawful status in the United States, according to authorities. He was living in the northwest suburbs after having been released on bond for immigration violations.
The two men were recorded discussing their declining prostitution business as the coronavirus spread throughout the Chicago area, the affidavit said.
"Nothing man, zero [expletive], you know responses," Daniluk said in mid-March.
"[Expletive], what the [expletive] is this, since the morning they're talking about this corona [expletive], [expletives]," Ciborowski said from inside the jail in Woodstock.
At one point, they allegedly spoke of the possibility one of their workers had contracted COVID-19.
"I don't know what, [expletive] fever, cough etc." Daniluk said.
"Uhuh, uhuh, let's hope it's not that [expletive] you know," Ciborowski responded.
"I don't know, I can't tell you since yesterday," Daniluk said.
"Yeah, and if one is sick, the rest might be sick as well," Cibrowski said.
"I don't [expletive] know, I don't know what it is, you know," Daniluk said.
"[expletive]. You can't get her [expletive] checked out?" Cibrowski asked.
"Well I can, but getting it checked out now is you know," Daniluk said.
On March 16, Daniluk complained about having to go to four stores to buy three packages of toilet paper.
"How's the sick one?" Ciborowski asked.
"The sick one is better," Daniluk said.
"Ah, so that means it's not corona," Ciborowski said.
"But I, I did not go inside," Daniluk said.
"Well, no no no, why the [expletive] would you," Ciborowski said.
Federal investigators estimated that the Norridge Girls ringleaders generated about $40,000 a month in revenue before the COVID-19 pandemic. They converted the cash into cryptocurrencies and bought expensive luxury vehicles, authorities said.
But like many Illinois business owners, they said the coronavirus had cut their profits to "zero" and, in transcripts of a translated phone calls, worried their operation was not generating enough cash to pay the bills after Gov. J.B. Pritzker's March 20 stay-at-home order shuttered non-essential operations.
"I know, I know, yeah," Ciborwoski said. "I'm wondering how long this will [expletive] last still."
"I don't have a clue," Daniluk said.

Friday, December 13, 2019

13-Year-Old Florida Girl Sold To More Than 100 Men For Sex In Less Than A Month In Trafficking Operation

The teen reportedly was sold for sex so many times, the traffickers nicknamed her "breadmaker," the court document stated.

With more parents and young adults being increasingly vigilant about sex trafficking, one Florida teenager’s story reinforces the perils of the predatory act.

The teenager said she ran away from home and was subsequently recruited by sex traffickers, including women police later identified as Souprina Blanc and 19-year-old Racquel Bijou. According to the criminal complaint filed by the girl, both Blanc and Bijou insisted that she have sex in exchange for money with several older men, some reportedly at least 50 years old.

Despite the girl reportedly telling Bijou that she was underage, she was instructed to tell everyone she was 21.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the document also detailed an instance where Bijou allegedly told the girl to take photos of herself which were later sent to 22-year-old Jeremiah Horenstein and 25-year-old Ashton Lewinson. The two men reportedly posted photos of the girl to a backpage website, advertising sex work. Following the ad being posted, the girl was instructed to sleep with more than 100 men.

According to the document, she was sold for sex so much that her traffickers dubbed her “breadmaker.”

After disappearing, the teen contacted a family member via text, telling them that she had sex with “so many people.” Frightened about the girl’s safety, the family member provided authorities with the teen’s phone records.

Investigators in Miami-Dade County and the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force were able to plan a sting operation on June 11, during which the girl was recovered and Blanc was arrested.

According to court documents, officers found an unidentified female naked in the bedroom and a naked man hiding in the shower during the sting.

Bijou, Horenstein and Lewinson were subsequently arrested in August and November.  All four suspects are charged with sex trafficking a minor and are being held without bond. Bijou pleaded guilty on November 19. If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum of life in prison.

In recent months, there's been heightened awareness around human trafficking.

In February, an Atlanta-area sex-trafficking sting led to the arrests of 169 people around the time of Super Bowl LIII. Nine children were rescued during the operation reports 11Alive. Additionally, individual stories of sex traffickers and their victims have become increasingly repeated occurrences in news cycles.

On Thursday, a North Carolina man was sentenced to prison for sex trafficking a minor in Miami, CBS Miami reports. She eventually escaped him. Earlier this year, after a New Jersey teen was missing, her photos later appeared on sex trafficking websites. She was later found safe in Philadelphia as Blavity previously reported.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline can be reached at 1-888-373-7888.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Cyber Crimes Victimizing Kids Up - Funding Down

by Jon Chrisos

Reports of online child sexual abuse imagery are growing exponentially, according to new data reviewed by the I-Team.

In 1998, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received about 3,000 reports.

In 2018, NCMEC received 18.4 million reports containing 45 million images.

Police in charge of fighting it are struggling to keep up.

"If it happened to me it could happen to other kids," Alicia Kozakiewicz said.

When she was 13-years-old, she was groomed, lured, and abducted by an internet predator, Scott Tyree, who is still in prison for the crime.

"He kidnapped me and held me captive in his basement dungeon and he was going to kill me," Kozakiewicz said.

Her disappearance set off a massive, four-day nationwide search while Tyree kept her chained to the floor at his home in Virginia.

"He had been live streaming what he was doing to me online. They turned on the computer and there I was on the screen with my hands bound above my head, crying, bleeding, begging," Kozakiewicz said.

Alicia Kozakiewicz

In 2008, she testified in Congress in support of legislation intended to prevent cyber crimes against children and the increasing amount of photos and videos of child abuse.

"In between the beatings and the raping he will hang you by your arms," Kozakiewicz said. "Support the children, save us from pedophiles, the pornographers, the monsters."

The bill passed in the House and the Senate, but since then, the I-Team finds the problem has only gotten worse.

"It's a lot easier for offenders to find kids. Technology is providing an opportunity for offenders to save more content, share more content," NCMEC Exploited Child Division Executive Director Lindsey Olsen said.

New research published by Google, NCMEC and Thorn says the creation and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery is at a breaking point, exceeding the capabilities of law enforcement to take action.

"These are children, these are babies who are being brutalized and tortured on film for other people to enjoy it," Kozakiewicz said.

Companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Dropbox are legally required to report images of child sexual abuse on their platforms.

Since Congress passed the PROTECT law in 2008, reports have increased exponentially from 100,000 a year to more than 18 million.

"We're certainly seeing a drastic increase as well," Maine Computer Crimes Unit Commanding Officer Lt. Scott Ireland said.

The unit is one of 61 task forces nationwide trying to keep up.

"I don't think most people have any idea just how big a problem it is," Ireland said.

Numbers reviewed by the I-Team show last year this unit investigated 505 reports of child sexual abuse imagery, and already this year, they've seen about 900 cases.

The unit has made dozens of arrests this year, including a former top-ranking school official in Bangor and a Skowhegan babysitter. Both men are accused of possessing sexually explicit material of children.

"If we don't bring a case to fruition today these kids are still being victimized," Ireland said.

Despite a proliferation of abuse reports, federal funding for units like this one is flat.

In fact, numbers we obtained from the Department of Justice show funding is consistently less than half of the $60 million a year authorized by the PROTECT law in 2008.

"It certainly makes it tougher. It would help us put more people on the ground doing investigations," Ireland said.

The author of the 2008 law, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida), recently sent a letter to the DOJ.

"This program has been underfunded and under supported, due to the lack of prioritization from the DOJ ... Meaning it has failed to make preventing and rescuing children from internet crimes a priority," Wasserman-Schultz said.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was a co-sponsor of the 2008 legislation.

"As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I strongly support increasing resources to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of these heinous acts and to prevent children from becoming victims," Collins said.

We reached out to the DOJ for a response to the letter, but we didn't hear back.

"We have to fund these task forces this is happening, there are predators out there," Kozakiewicz said.

Right now Kozakiewicz is going state by state, working with PROTECT, trying to pass Alicia's Law to provide a dedicated stream of state funding.

The law is on the books in 12 states, but not yet in Maine.

However, the Maine legislature recently approved money to hire four more people in the Computer Crimes Unit.