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Human Trafficking in Phoenix

On Behalf of / Friday, 16 June 2017 / Published in assault, battery, felony

Sex Trafficking in The United States

Sex Trafficking is sacredly becoming more and more common. Children and women need to be cautious with even every day errand to the store. Women and children can be abducted anywhere and anytime.

There were twenty-one alleged members of an international sex trafficking ring. They have been charged within the United States for forcing hundreds of Thai women to travel to the United States so that they could be “modern sex slaves”. How disgusting can people be? Those poor girls.

They will be joining another 17 members that were charged last October. Three of those 17 have already pleaded guilty.

According to reports, the details is of a scheme that went all the way back to 2009. Women were sadly denied their freedom until payment of “bondage debts” . Some of the debts the some of the women owed were as high as $60,000.

Sex Trafficking Numbers Rise

US Attorney, Gregory Brooker said that the defendants include: 10 Thai nationals and 11 United States citizens. They were all arrested at different locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Austin, Houston, as well as Chicago. One of the defendants are still being searched for.

County Sheriff, Thomas Dart’s Statement:

The complexities of this organization represent the lengths to which criminals will go to profit off of human beings. This is an important reminder that sex trafficking and the associated buying, are not victimless crimes — this organization preyed and profited on vulnerable women.
The operation lasted from early 2009 – May 2017. Talk about a long run. The criminal organization trafficked hundreds of women from Bangkok, Thailand to also various cities across the United States. Some of those places include: Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Washington, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, as well as Austin. Quite a wide spread.
 There was an indictment of eight different counts, including: bulk cash smuggling and money laundering offenses, detailing “funnel accounts” to route cash from several cities across the United States to money launderers in L.A.
 The criminal ring moved tens of millions of dollars from the United States to Thailand as well as other places. The criminals used a “hawala-based system”. This was so that trusted family members and others could carry large amounts of money on the person. Some cash was hidden in clothing as well as dolls.
The women who were brought to the Untied States for sex purposes were also forced to open their own bank accounts that were controlled by “members of the organization for coordinated deposits”.

IRS Criminal Investigator, Charge Shea Jones’s Statement:

The special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation are committed to taking the profit away from these human traffickers.  As all financial transactions leave a trail, IRS Criminal Investigation special agents used their accounting expertise to analyze the complex financial transactions made by these criminals.
Criminal positions ranged from traffickers who also held the bondage debt of the victim to house bosses. House bosses owned the houses of prostitution. There were also money launderers and facilitators, their duties included transportation of women to different houses of prostitution, travel costs that had to be added to the “victims bondage debt”.
Attorney Brooker said that the investigation has taken years to complete. They were finally able to dismantle the criminal organization from all angles.  Thank goodness, hopefully this is just one step closer to ending trafficking.

Human Trafficking Suspect Arrested

The District Attorney’s Office said that a twenty-five year old young man was arrested and sentenced to thirty years in prison for human trafficking and sexual assault. Sad that a young man has wasted his life on such a horrible act.

In 2016, Donald Pierre Whiteside, traveled with two young females aging at 18 and 22 years old. They traveled through Colorado, Phoenix and up and down the West Coast. He forced the women into acts of prostitution.

The man forced the women to post advertisement for prostitution then set prices to be charged and then even drove them to their appointments and then took all of their money.

He physically, sexually, and emotionally abused the girls. He did this so that he could have the upper hand and gain “compliance”. The sicko also forced the girls to get tattoos of his “pimp moniker”.

The man pleaded guilty to human trafficking for sexual servitude and attempted sexual assault. After he is released from prison he will have to register as a sex offender.

Coffee Shop Helps Fight Against Human Trafficking

A Local coffee shop helps in changing lives.

President of NRG, Elizabeth Killinger’s Statement:

A 2nd Cup, you are the $100,000 winner from Reliant Gives.

Talk about an amazing thing.

Erica Raggett’s Statement:

I feel like my mind just kind of went blank, like ‘waaa.’ I can’t believe this is happening.

According to Raggett, the journey started around six and a half years ago. She was a Houston teacher when she had watched a presentation on human trafficking at her church.

Erica Raggett’s Statement:

My mind was blown and I was horrified and outraged and … I heard stats, like the average age of entry into sex trafficking is 12 to 14 years old. I was, ‘Those are the kids that I’m teaching. I want to do something. I want to be part of the solution.

So after that she founded ” A 2nd Cup”.

She started as just a pop up coffee shop on the street, later her shop found a more permanent spot 2015. It’s helpped to attract others who has the same passion to help, such as Alyse Bordelon.

Alyse Bordelon’s Statement:

A lot of people come in here not knowing that it’s a nonprofit, not knowing that all of their resources go towards fighting human trafficking. They think it’s just a coffee shop.

Alyse, like most thought that it was just a regular coffee shop, but now she knows the truth and volunteers at the shop at least once a week. She was the one who nominated A 2nd Cup to receive the $100,000 grant. The money is to help launch their nonprofit coffee shop. This will also go to help in the culinary training program for survivors.

Bordelon’s Statement:

I’m very excited to support those survivors in getting jobs that they get to keep that are going to lift them into independence.

Raggett said that the logo is a phoenix because they really believe that they can rise and do something beautiful. How hopeful!

 

Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445

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