Case dropped: Woman charged with human trafficking was really a victim cropped-IMAGENES1.jpg


A judge on Wednesday dismissed human trafficking and prostitution charges against a woman, formerly of South Carolina, after prosecutors determined she was actually a victim in the scheme to transport teen girls to Birmingham and force them into sexual servitude.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Stephen Wallace dismissed two counts of human trafficking and two counts of promoting prostitution against 20-year-old Veronica Melvin.

Melvin had been charged with a South Carolina man, Jermaine Williams, after their arrest in 2013. The arrests were part of the FBI’s nationwide crackdown – Operation Cross Country – on child sex trafficking. Three juveniles, ages 13 to 17, were rescued in the Birmingham area during the sweep. The girls were being advertised on as ‘Barbie Dolls’.

“It became very clear during the investigation of this case that Veronica Melvin was a sex trafficking victim of Jermaine Williams,” Kistler stated in an email to on Thursday. “Our office, along with the law enforcement agencies who worked this case, agreed that justice required dropping her charges.”

“This case exemplifies that human trafficking exists, and that it is happening right here in our own community,” Kistler. “Victims of these cases suffer from the deprivation of one of the most important human rights afforded to us: the right to freedom. Human trafficking victims already have so much to fear from the predators who abuse them and exploit them for profit – they should not have to fear prosecution as well.”

Melvin’s attorney, David Luker, said it was a very complicated case and that he and his client are very satisfied with the outcome. “It was as a result of the district attorneys good judgment and willingness to analyze case that we were able to reach a fair and reasonable outcome,” he said.

Jermaine Williams entered a guilty plea in July to two Human Trafficking charges and was sentenced, per an agreement with prosecutors, to a 20-year sentence. According to the department of corrections, he will serve at least 85 percent before he is even eligible for parole, Kistler said.

ng>Slavery isn’t over.
Every minute a child is taken against their will. In less than a minute, you can help. I’M not for sale im a child and youth. NO MORE SLAVERY

More than 30 million people live in slavery today. Men, women, and children around the world are trafficked and subjected to exploitation. The modern-day slave trade is a $32 billion-dollar-a-year business and one of the fastest growing industries.



ANGELS IN THE FIELD fights modern-day slavery through business creation, supply chain evaluation, and aftercare aid. For more information.

In 3 international project locations, ANGELS IN THE FIELD RESCUE AND JUSTICE, provides safety and aftercare services to survivors while targeting the root causes of exploitation by empowering individuals with skills training, education, and job opportunities. From rescued children on the streets of Thailand to women escaping exploitation in the red-light district of Amsterdam, Not For Sale brings freedom and new opportunities to survivors and at-risk communities across the globe.

You have the power to take action. Support the movement to end slavery by donating to this fundraising campaign. Your contribution enables ANGELS IN THE FIELD RESCUE AND JUSTICE to combat human trafficking around the world.



PLEDGE HERE TO WORK FREE FOR A DAY SO OTHERS CAN BE FREE FOREVER. Slavery isn’t over. Every minute a child is taken against their will. In less than a minute, you can help. slavery no more pledge


Mass. AG supports human trafficking lawsuit against
Feb 20, 2015, 2:48pm EST
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Mary Moore
Boston Business Journal
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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has filed an amicus brief in a federal lawsuit against website, urging the court to move forward a case alleging that the website assisted in human trafficking.
The amicus brief was filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.
Ropes & Gray filed Doe vs. LLC on behalf of three women who allege that they were sold for sex through the website. Some of them were minors at the time. The original complaint included just two women plaintiffs and a third woman was added in late 2014, said a spokesman for the law firm.
The amicus brief filed by the AG’s office comes in response to’s request that the court dismiss the case.
“Websites that actively facilitate human trafficking should be held liable for this serious and widespread problem in the commonwealth,” Healey said in a press release from the AG’s office. “Backpage is known for advertising commercial sex, and its recent growth and dominant position in the market call into question its supposed efforts to curb prostitution and child exploitation.”
The complaint alleges that one of the women was sold for sex in 2012 and 2013 when she was 15-and-16-years-old through the website. Between June and September 2013 alone, she was was sold for sex more than 1,000 times at locations in Greater Boston and in Rhode Island, according to Ropes & Gray.
Another plaintiff alleges she was sold for sex when she was 15-years-old in Boston, Saugus, Cambridge and Somerville between 2010 and 2012, according to the complaint.
The women allege that, when they were sold for sex, pimps use to identify and communicate with customers.
The named defendants are, Camarillo Holdings LLC and New Times Media LLC. None could be immediately reached for comment.
Non-Profits, Philanthropy, Higher Education
Industries: Legal Services


Six alleged members of Jefferson County child prostitution ring arrested; one still at large


ugly man

Jean-Claude Toviave may have done “horrendous” things to four west African children he pretended were his own, but it wasn’t child slavery.

That’s what U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow concluded today in sentencing the University of Michigan janitor to 21 months in prison – which he has already served – for sneaking four African children into the country in 2006 with fake documents and pretending they were his own.

Tarnow previously had sentenced Toviave to more than 11 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him of enslaving four children in his Ypsilanti home and subjecting them to years of abuse. The four children testified that Toviave regularly beat them with broomsticks, a toilet plunger, ice scraper, sticks and phone chargers if they failed to obey orders to do household chores, and deprived them of food and sleep as punishment.

But a federal appeals court in August harpooned the government’s human trafficking case when it threw out the forced labor conviction, concluding that while the children’s treatment was “reprehensible,” it was not slavery.

Tarnow said he had no choice but to punish Toviave according to that finding.

“This is a serious case of child abuse that should have been prosecuted in the state courts,” said Tarnow, who added a message for Toviave. “You got a huge break Mr. Toviave. I trust that you’ve learned your lesson as to your form of quote unquote, ‘discipline.’ ”

Tarnow gave Toviave a chance to speak in court, but the defendant declined.

Currently, immigration authorities have a hold on Toviave, who is expected to be deported to his native land of Togo. The federal government has 48 hours to take action. Washtenaw County authorities also still could file charges against him.

Meanwhile, if Togo refuses to take him back – Toviave was granted asylum here in 2001 – Toviave could find himself being “a man with no country,” noted his lawyer, Randall Roberts.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mollie O’Rourke pleaded with Tarnow to consider the abuse suffered by the children and sentence Toviave to five years instead.

“What happened to the victims still happened. Nothing changes that,” O’Rourke said. “I urge the court to remember the testimony of the four children … They were children. They were abused. They were kept with false names. As children who could not speak the language, they were especially vulnerable.”

But Tarnow said the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw out the forced labor convictions, which means he can only sentence someone for a crime for which they’ve been convicted. In Toviave’s case, he pleaded guilty only to immigration charges and fraud.

During the sentencing hearing, Tarnow took a shot at Washtenaw County and the state attorney general’s office for letting the federal courts handle this case when, he said, the states should have. He also asked where Attorney General Bill Schuette was on the case, noting he’s “on my television every night” declaring war against human trafficking, yet no one from his office appeared in this case.

Joy Yearout, a spokesperson for Schuette’s office, said the AG’s office does not comment on pending federal litigation. But she defended Schuette’s record saying he has aggressively fought human trafficking problem on many fronts.

According to court documents, Toviave fled Togo in 2001 and was granted asylum status in the U.S. after spending two years in a Togo prison as a “dissident.” Five years later, he snuck four of his extended family’s children into the U.S. “to advance their education and help them achieve a better future.”

Toviave almost always had two jobs, including being a tennis instructor, paid his taxes and had a clean criminal record prior to this case, his lawyer wrote.

“While it certainly could be said that his ‘social/family experiment’ went horribly off the rails … he did bring them here, provided for them and enrolled them in school. That was to give them a better opportunity than they would have if they remained in Togo.”

According to court documents, the children are still in the U.S., living with foster families. The eldest girl is in college.

The victims detailed the years of abuse in journals, which police confiscated, and reported the abuse to counselors, triggering an investigation.

One of them – a teenage male – appeared at Toviave’s last sentencing. He thanked Toviave for bringing him here and admonished him for the abuse.

“You had no respect for me. I wake up with nightmares. You said that you would kill me with your bare hands when I was only a child. I pray that one day you will be able to change your ways,” the boy, A.K., wrote in his statement. “You are an evil person. The only person you can be upset with is yourself.”


This is Unreal how they are selling weman and police are around them and not stop this selling of woman. Selling humans as slaves is illegal all over the world however since Isis has taken over Human sale will become worst like never before.

This is in LONDON
This is supposly actors acting on what isis has been doing with their woman.

News Room » Recent Releases
News Releases
HSI, Colombian authorities rescue 55 sex trafficking victims, all minors
Victims as young as 11 years old
HSI, Colombian authorities rescue 55 sex trafficking victims, all minors.HSI, Colombian authorities rescue 55 sex trafficking victims, all minors.
BOGOTA, Colombia — An international undercover law enforcement operation culminated Saturday with the arrests of 12 individuals involved in sex trafficking and the rescue of 55 sex trafficking victims, all minors.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office in Colombia and the Colombian Attorney General’s Technical Investigative Corps Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (CTI TCIU) conducted the operation that was carried out simultaneously in Cartagena, Medellin and Armenia, all Colombian cities.
Eleven Colombian citizens face charges for human trafficking of minors, pimping and pandering. Details regarding the remaining individual are not being disclosed pending the completion of the investigation.
Individuals arrested in Armenia include: Erwin Rene Ordonez-Ortiz, Javier Giovanny Aguirre-Garcia and Lina Maria Gonzalez-Henao. Cartagena arrests include: Horacia Rebolledo Pacheco, Kelly Johana Suarez Moy, Eduardo Ortega, Juan Manuel Oquendo Sierra and Samuel David Olave Martinez. Four individuals – Veronica Builes-Bonet, Luisa Fernanda Velasquez, Alexander Alberto Villegas and a non-disclosed individual – were arrested in Medellin.
The Colombian Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the Colombian nationals. If convicted, the defendants face between five and 20 years imprisonment.
The rescued victims are all Colombian minors, some as young as 11 years old. They are in the care of Bienestar Familiar (Colombia’s Child Protective Services). Eighty-five percent of those rescued were females. Some of the victims were allegedly drugged with ecstasy and cocaine.
During the takedown, one 11-year-old girl broke down in tears thanking the officials who rescued her. She was allegedly sold for $1,000 in U.S. currency since she was a virgin.
“It’s unconscionable that people engage in the sexual trafficking of innocent children,” said HSI Colombia Attaché Luis Sierra. “Through this successful bilateral operation, the U.S. and Colombia are sending a clear message that we will go to any length to identify and catch the monsters that exploit our vulnerable children.”
Breaking Chains and Underground Railroad, both U.S. nonprofit organizations dedicated to eradicating the sexual exploitation of children, assisted with this case. The Colombian Navy and Coast Guard also participated.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
You may also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or access this news release on your mobile device.

WE THE PEOPLEdreamstimecomp_7292147


sex-trafficking Angels In The Field Rescue And The Abolitionist Movement

Tracking the progress of the Modern Day Slave Trade and those Abolitionists who work against it.
MARCH 6, 2014
The Pimp Game: A De-structional Guide By DJ’s Angels In The Field
The quotes below are from a book titled The Pimp Game: An Instructional Guide, written by Mickey Royal in 1998.
A lot of reviews on The Pimp Game praise Royal’s honest representation of a dog eat dog world, and applaud his statement than every person must pimp or be pimped. Many express a belief that he’s speaking metaphorically. Royal’ s Machiavellian methods and mindset display openly how a ‘pimp’ and ‘ho’ are both slaves to a culture that has devalued human life and dehumanized sex. As Mickey encourages his reader to use sex, money, verbal and psychological abuse to dominate men and women in order to exploit them, he compares a pimp to a lion, a king, a vampire and an empty shell, and gives specific examples of words to say and actions to take to make sure a ‘ho’ never has the self-esteem or the means to live without the ‘pimp’.game
Not much more needs to be said. Read the quotes below and see what Mickey says for himself.
“The Lord gave us pimps, and hos for pimps to feed off of, the same as the Lord provides the world with predators and prey.”
“How to knock a bitch and transform her into a ho? It is an intricate process of psychological destruction and emotional construction.” “The pimp is evil personified. I’ve thought long and hard of a visual aid, a picture to give you of a pimp. When you think of a pimp, think of a vampire, Count Dracula. The pimp has no love in his heart for a ho. A pimp has no love in his heart for any but himself. When he establishes his game, he constructs paths so all roads lead to himself. The pimp wants your soul.”
“A pimp is a shell. He feeds off your soul, like a vampire. A pimp must be chosen by a ho. A ho must choose him, like a vampire must be invited in. The victim must invite him in.”
“Remember, the vampire has no family, no friends, and no peers. The vampire has subjects under his spell. The pimp has no soul except the souls he collects.”
“A pimp is the room to his ho (the renter) and a pimp becomes whatever she needs: a father, brother, friend, protector, child, lover or whatever. His identity depends on her need.”
“(A mack) sells his ho with the idea of team or family. A ho feels as though she’s making an investment with a Mack, as opposed to complete the servitude relationship with a pimp.” “(The ho) is the most exploited and abused member of the game. But without the ho, there would be no game. I used the pronoun ‘she’ when referring to a ho. But understand that hos are about 50/50 male/female. I use the feminine pronoun to show submissiveness. The ho is the only member/player in the game that doesn’t receive what she expects.”
“The ho actually schools the pimp or the mack in the proper ways to exploit her.” “A ho never leaves the game. The game ejects her. It’s the game and how it’s played, nothing personal. When she can no longer produce what’s needed of her, she is ejected from the game. The soul she sold to the pimp for entry into the game is never returned.” “A ho’s desire can’t be fed because she has a need that isn’t material- security, love, acceptance, confirmation of one’s self worth, etc. Just as a young men join gangs for the same reason, a ho exchanges something she can see for something she can’t. This leaves the door open for exploitation, abuse and misuse.”
“A mack sells a ho a dream like a manager promising her to Hollywood and make her a star. By the time she realizes she’s been had, she’s trapped.” “She can’t leave because tomorrow might be that day. That day when that dream or fantasy she’s chasing comes true.”
“A ho is never happy, never satisfied….She pays a pimp for entry into a fairy tale world. She pays in money, time, self-respect, and her very soul.” “Once you knock your bottom girl, she will go out and recruit for her pimp. He has absolute power over his bottom woman and has so absorbed her soul that he has an almost telepathic connection with her.” “Once she (the ho) chooses (the pimp), then eye contact begins. Eye contact is to acknowledge ownership. You now own your ho. You don’t look at, talk to, or show interest in any ho who does not choose you. “You take away everything she has then give her what she needs. You, the pimp, are the cause as well as the solutions to all her problems. You give her the poison, then sell her the cure.” “You must destroy her self-esteem. Start small. She is only to sit in the back seat of your car. She is not to touch you, kiss you, ask you questions. You don’t ever allow her to make eye contact.” “I had a ho over a partner’s house. He and I played dominoes while she was made to strip nude. While standing, still nude, people came and went. She stood still and cried while visitors came and went. She stood still and cried while visitors touched, poked, prodded and even verbally abused her. I could feel her pain; then I made the pain stop. This process is called ‘breaking a bitch down’ or ‘knocking’.” “If you and your victim are sexually active, then slow it down. Once a week is fine. After sex, take her shopping for one item. Hair and/or nails are fine. She will develop a feeling of accomplishment. The shopping after a month will be replaced with cash. The love making turns into raw sex. She’ll start to crave the intimacy and be willing to get back into your good graces. After you have broken her spirit she has no sense of self-value. Now pimp, put a price tag on the item you have manufactured.” “It costs nothing to produce. She will never run out of it. She has it, she sells it and she still has it.” “A pimp destroys a ho’s world and creates a world that caters to him. If she wishes to leave, you must let her go and forget about her. She’ll come back if you don’t chase her. But she must work her way back. “If the self-esteem isn’t low enough, you must lower it. Why? A ho is a piece of property. You’re selling real estate. You buy as low as you can and sell as high as the market allows.” “A mack talks to all his hos at once. Since he is a friend or brother (remember) he can do so. They’re a team and he comes across as if he’s going to work with them and that they are all working together. A pimp talks to his hos one at a time. Why? Because the ho may feel embarrassed by what the pimp has her do. If there are no witnesses, there is no embarrassment.” “The price to keep a ho down, is you have to stay down with her. To keep your foot on her neck means you can’t move either.”

2014 News ->

Child molester sentenced to 500 years in prison for crimes – WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News – Top Stories:

U.S. CRIME Cops Arrest 500 Johns in Sex Trade Crackdown

Cops Arrest 500 Johns in Sex Trade Crackdown
Charlotte Alter @charlottealter Aug. 5, 2014
111 prostitution victims recovered

World Cup Whimsy Captured in New McDonalds Ad
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by Taboola
Law enforcement agencies across the country collaborated in a recent series of sex stings that netted the arrests of almost 500 men seeking to buy sex and 14 pimps and traffickers, officials will announce Wednesday.

The police crackdown, part of an annual “National Day of Johns Arrests,” led to more arrests than any previous sex sting of its kind, officials said. Law enforcement agencies in 14 different states collaborated on the sting, which is part of an ongoing national pivot toward fighting the sex trade by punishing johns instead of prostitutes.

“If there was no demand, there would be no prostitution,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, whose Chicago office has taken a lead role in organizing the crackdown, told TIME Tuesday ahead of its announcement. “It makes them understand that there are some consequences here. The public still perceives prostitution as a victimless crime, so we’re going about it this way to address the problem and raise awareness.”

Officials said 111 prostitutes were recovered during the operation, including 13 juveniles. The crackdown, which ran from July 17 to Aug. 3, led police to multiple cases of abuse. Seattle police recovered a 15-year old girl whose mother was attempting to sell her for sex. Texas law enforcement officials arrested a federal border patrol agent who was trying to buy sex while in full uniform, as well as a man who tried to pick up a prostitute with his infant child in the backseat. Of the 150 johns arrested in the greater Phoenix area, 91 were trying to buy sex off the website

Dart said the “National Day of Johns Arrests” only lasts for 18 days in order to show the scope of the problem, but also because there are practical constraints on resource allocation in different jurisdictions. “Law enforcement agencies have issues that are pulling them in a million different directions,” he said. “This shows what we can do in a narrow window of time, and speaks to the bigger issue of what’s happening the rest of the year.”

Dart said 53% of the arrested johns were married and 47% were college graduates. “The idea that these are a bunch of ne’er-do-wells could not be further from the truth,” he said.

The National Day of Johns is part of a national trend toward punishing men who buy sex instead of prostitutes who are sometimes forced to sell it. New York has already announced some measures to punish pimps more than trafficking victims, and to rehabilitate women who have been in the sex trade rather than imprison them. The shift has also gained traction internationally, with Sweden’s ban on purchasing sex instead of on selling it has becoming a model across Europe

News 10 /KXTV 2014

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has been investigating a company named Pure Forest that hires migrants for work in Sierra forests. The federal prosecutor accuses Pure Forest of worker abuse, including wage theft and threats. News10/KXTV

Thousands of miles from home, stained with toxic chemicals and threatened with guns, workers say they couldn’t leave even if they wanted to. The migrant workers, all from Mexico, were in a foreign country and they say their passports had been confiscated by company supervisors.

That’s part of a story told to federal investigators from the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by a group of migrant workers employed by a forestry company called Pure Forest.

News10 began investigating Idaho-based Pure Forest, which is in the business of tree planting and tree thinning for Sierra Pacific Industries throughout Northern California, after workers alleged they were forced to endure horrendous conditions while working in the Sierra under temporary work visas.

The Department of Justice calls it forced labor trafficking. It’s another side of human trafficking, a more hidden side, said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. The victims are often out of sight, held captive in family homes, restaurants, or remote work sites like the forests that cover the Sierra Nevada. Although Pure Forest denies the allegations against them, federal agents have served search warrants at multiple locations in California and Idaho and arrested one of their employees.

“On the labor side, it’s hard to say how widespread trafficking is because it’s not a crime that has really bright lines around it – easy to find, easy to see,” Wagner said. “But anecdotally, the evidence suggests that it is pretty widespread. The problem from the enforcement perspective is, unlike sex trafficking, it is often very difficult to find.”

As an advocate for migrant workers, Cynthia Rice, a staff attorney for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, says she hears stories like this far too often. The guest worker program, she said, leaves migrant workers at the mercy of their employers, who can treat their workers as indentured servants.

“We’ve interviewed several workers who said they would never use this program again,” Rice said. “They really did feel that it was as close to slavery as you could get in a modern country.”

Forced labor

The alleged abuse occurred during the 2012-2013 forestry season, according to a search warrant application filed by federal agents. The workers came from Hidalgo, Mexico, brought here by a Texas-based labor contractor under the guest worker program with H-2B visas. They were flown or driven to Northern California by Pure Forest owners Jeff and Owen Wadsworth, according to court documents, and were split into four groups. Each group was led into remote parts of the forest under the supervision of a Pure Forest supervisor.

Workers told special agents for the DOL their passports were taken as soon as they arrived at their first work site, just outside Gerber, California. The supervisors promised they would be returned when their work was complete, which was supposed to take eight months. Wagner said it’s a common practice in labor trafficking.

“A common thing throughout labor trafficking is retention of passports or travel documents or identity documents which restricts the mobility of the laborer. So they are at the mercy of the people who are exploiting them,” Wagner said.

When the workers arrived at their campsite, they said they found a cluster of tents for them to sleep in, not the sturdy trailers they had been promised by recruiters. Each morning, the workers reported, they were driven to a work site where they performed exhausting labor for up to 13 hours a day, six days a week. That work included spraying chemicals, which their recruiters had promised they would not be doing. A pair of gloves and blue overalls, they said, was the only protective clothing provided.

“It’s really difficult to even think about guys doing this kind of work 10 to 12 hours a day and then coming home to sleep on the dirt in a tent with the little bit of food that they get from the camp fire,” Rice said. “It harkens back to conditions that none of us would want anyone in the United States to have to work under.”

The workers say the overalls and gloves provided little protection against the chemicals that stained them purple and caused vomiting, skin peeling and burning in their eyes. Sometimes they sprayed into trees, causing the chemicals to rain down on their faces. The chemical containers strapped to their backs sometimes leaked, causing chemical burns, according to the statements they gave to investigators.

On Sundays, the workers said, they went to town to wash their clothes under the watchful eye of a supervisor, who made sure they didn’t talk to anyone. But workers say the laundromat owner eventually told them not to come back – the chemicals on their clothes were staining the machines. The workers had to buy a used washing machine with the little money they had, according to a civil suit filed by some of the workers against Pure Forest.

They were also forced to pay for their food, they say. They said the salty pieces of meat often appeared spoiled. The food was served by the father of a Pure Forest supervisor, to whom workers had to pay up to $240 every two weeks. According to the Department of Labor, the rules of the H-2B visa program state workers must be provided nutritious meals by their employer, free of charge.

Drinking water was also pumped straight from a nearby river without any kind of sterilization, according to the DOL. A Butte County environmental health specialist told investigators the river was “absolutely not acceptable” as a source for drinking water, even with filtering, chlorination, or UV treatment. Pure Forest supervisor Jose Amador also confirmed this during an interview with DOL agents, according to court documents.

Threats of violence by Pure Forest supervisors made the situation even worse, according to the workers. Two Pure Forest foremen, Pedro and Arturo Carbajal, reportedly carried guns and threatened to shoot workers in the head if they didn’t work hard enough. Sometimes they would fire their weapons without warning in a display of intimidation, workers said. Pedro Carbajal allegedly told workers he would send them back to Mexico, or worse, take them to prison if they couldn’t handle the workload.

Pedro Carbajal is the only Pure Forest employee who has been arrested up to this point, charged with being an “illegal alien in possession of a firearm”, but Wagner says the investigation continues. Search warrants were served at Pure Forest business locations in California and Idaho, as well as the homes of some employees. Computers and other records were seized, according to court documents.

In a jailhouse interview with News10, Carbajal vehemently denied the allegations against him.

“I never forced anybody to work,” Carbajal said. “When we worked together, we worked freely. Everyone worked at their own pace.”

Wagner says he hopes these prosecutions will compel victims of labor trafficking to come forward with their stories. All too often, he said, cultural barriers or fear of deportation prevents workers from reporting abuse.

“They’re entitled to rights like other people are, in terms of federal minimum wage, safe and sanitary working conditions, living conditions, drinkable water, certain guarantees with respect to hours, humane treatment, and so forth,” he said.

Visa fraud, wage theft and bribery

Seized emails, paper records and interviews with Pure Forest employees show Pure Forest illegally took money from their migrant workers, engaged in bribery and possibly committed visa fraud, according to the DOL.

When Pure Forest wanted to hire 25 guest workers in 2012 to work on the Sierra Pacific contract, they had to offer the open positions to U.S. workers first. That’s a rule under the guest worker program to ensure American workers get first crack at potential jobs. The DOL says Pure Forest received applications from 10 American workers, but told the Department of Labor they only had five. None of those workers were hired for the contract, according to documents obtained by the DOL.

The workers were often left with as little as $100 for two weeks of work after illegal deductions were made from their paychecks, they told investigators. They said the Wadsworths made workers pay $2,000 out of their paychecks to cover the cost of their visas. That cost is supposed to be covered by the employer, not the employee, according to the rules of the guest worker program. Migrant workers have little recourse in these situations, Rice said, even if the employer is clearly violating the law.

“The employer has such great levels of control over the worker that they can pretty much do what they want,” Rice said. “So unless you have someone who by virtue of their own good nature or their desire to be a good business person, to be a good employer, the ability to exploit a worker is largely unfettered.”

Pure Forest supervisor Jose Amador confirmed the $2,000 visa deductions in an interview with DOL investigators. Amador also told investigators the Wadsworths had a history of using undocumented workers. Emails between Jeff and Owen Wadsworth that were seized by the DOL allegedly discussed obtaining possibly fraudulent immigration documents.

Wadsworth response

The Wadsworths would not do an interview with News10 for this story, but they did provide a statement through their attorneys saying the lawsuit was a money grab by a group of disgruntled employees.

The statement reads:

Pure Forest LLC is a family run company that provides reforestation and other related services to several clients on the West Coast. Recently, Jeff Wadsworth and Owen Wadsworth, the managers and operators of the company, were served with a law suit filed by a few disgruntled former employees. The civil suit alleges several acts of mistreatment and abuse. As a result of these allegations, a federal investigation was initiated.

The allegations came after the disgruntled employees’ failed attempt at obtaining money from the company by filing frivolous injury and unemployment benefit claims. Interviews of company employees and client foresters, who supervised the foresting operation during the time of the alleged abuse, reveal that none of the allegations are true.

Jeff Wadsworth and Owen Wadsworth pride themselves on the well-treatment of all their employees and are surprised and saddened that a group of former employees have chosen to bring such allegations. While we do not know whether the claims were brought in order to extort money or to obtain victim immigration benefits, we are confident that the truth will prevail.

We have been fully cooperative with the federal investigation and are confident that Jeff Wadsworth, Owen Wadsworth and Pure Forest LLC will soon be cleared of any and all wrongdoing.

Out of the shadows

Encouraging victims of labor trafficking to tell their stories is a challenge for law enforcement, but Wagner says his office and others are dedicating resources to change that.

“If people realize that you can’t exploit laborers in an illegal way and that there will be enforcement, it will change the culture for the better,” Wagner said. “And really, what we’re aiming for is prevention, deterring the behavior in the first place. We realize it’s going to take some cases to do that, but hopefully in the long term that’ll happen.”

Wagner said there are already avenues for victims to report exploitation. Victims can report abuse to the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor or the FBI. The number for the FBI hotline in the Sacramento area is (916) 481-9110.

Victims not comfortable with law enforcement can report abuse to the people at the Polaris Project. They have a tip line victims can call at 1 (800) 3730-7888. They can also text the word “help” to “BeFree”/233-733.

Rice is pleased the Department of Justice is prosecuting this case, but says there is a long way to go toward fixing the greater problem of abuse in the guest worker program. Workers who have gone through the program, she said, are not coming back because they rarely make the money they were promised.

“That ability to indenture someone to your service creates such a control, that it’s not slavery, but it’s only one step removed,” she said.

Human Trafficking News
July 2014
Baltimore Man Charged With Human Trafficking
Minnesota’s first shelter for child victims of trafficking prepares to open
Man arrested for soliciting girls for porn industry at Alameda County Fair
Largest Korean Spa Under Investigation for Prostitution and Enslaving Workers
Secretary Johnson Announces 192 Criminal Arrests in Ongoing ICE Operation to Crack Down on Human Smuggling to the Rio Grande Valley
Doctors can help human trafficking victims: reports
Maryland Man Sentenced to 20 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Surge in Child Sex Trafficking Cases in Maryland
Danielle Lohan and Jeanne Allert visit On Time to discuss trafficking in Maryland
Online ads for child sex trafficking impact 70 percent of victims

June 2014
Human trafficking software launch to enable supply chain inspectors
Report implicates CP Foods, US retailers in Thai slave labor sourcing
Victory: Google Makes Huge Move to Ban Pornography

All stories on June FBI Child Sex Trafficking Raid:

Baltimore FBI Cracks Down On The Big Business Of Child Sex Trafficking
FBI Arrests Five Pimps In Md. For Sex Trafficking Of Children
FBI: Sex-trafficking crackdown rescues two children in Maryland
FBI Crackdown Targets Child Prostitution Nationwide
Baltimore County girl rescued in FBI prostitution sting
Man, 35, pleads guilty to sex trafficking girl, 14
Harrisonburg Resident Pleads Guilty To Human Trafficking Charge
FBI shuts down alleged child prostitution site
Feds seize massage parlor allegedly used as brothel
Anti-paedophile police fight child porn ‘epidemic’
Maryland man arrested for human trafficking of a teen
Maryland man arrested for human trafficking after complaint by 2 women in Cecil County
Police: 16-year old girl held as sex slave in Md.
Frostberg man gets four counts of human trafficking
Life sentences for 2 sex traffickers who preyed on Mexican immigrants
Man Arrested For Human Trafficking in Cecil County
Westminster MD Backpage: prove you’re fighting human trafficking
Frostburg man charged with human trafficking

May 2014
Kidnapped Nigeria schoolgirls reportedly sold as brides to Islamic Boko Haram militants
Boko Haram leader: “I will sell” kidnapped Nigerian Girls
Police trying to stamp out sex trafficking in Baltimore
Nigeria Kidnapping Brings Global Epidemic of Human Trafficking to Forefront
Williams: Boko Haram, human trafficking must be stopped
Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls spotlights human trafficking
Trial begins for sex trafficking suspects
Homeland Security Arrests Dozens of Suspected Gang Members
Lawmakers work to end underground sex trafficking
71 Are Accused in a Child Pornography Case, Officials Say
3 arrested on human trafficking charges in Charlotte

April 2014
Pope Francis’ discourse at conference on human trafficking
Bay Area airport workers learn how to identify human trafficking victims
Sex trafficking easy to find in Montana, speakers at UM say
Column: Human trafficking is modern day slavery
YouTube Stars Take On Human Trafficking, Body Image and Health Care
Ramsey nonprofit aims to eradicate human trafficking
Trial Underway For Philadelphia Charged With Human Trafficking
Florida police save 14-year-old girl from sex trafficking and arrest 44 in 3-day prostitution sting
Registered sex offender pleads guilty to trafficking a minor
Pope Francis Denounces Human Trafficking As “A Crime Against Humanity”
‘Ice Road Truckers’ star charged with kidnapping, torturing Vegas prostitute, report says
Ice Deputy Director joins global law enforcement community and Catholic Church to combat human trafficking
Most of what you know about sex trafficking isn’t true
Parkville Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking of A Minor
Maryland Man Sentenced for Attempted Sex Trafficking During Sturgis Rally
House Judiciary Committee Approves Three Bills to Combat Human Trafficking

March 2014
Eleven charged in prostitution sting near BWI airport
Westminster cardinal will host second human trafficking workshop in Rome
Steve McQueen Named Polaris Project Ambassador
There is no such thing as a child prostitute
Bills seek to bring awareness to human trafficking in Maryland
Baltimore Police Officer Charged With Sex Offenses Involving Teenager
Hawaii law lets police have sex with prostitutes
Maryland Man Convicted in Violent Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops
Smuggling Bust Uncovers Over 100 Migrants Imprisoned in Filthy Stash House
Did Christie Go Easy on a Human Trafficker Just to Bust a Small Time Pol?
Lies, damned lies and sex work statistics
Rep. Maloney Pushes Bill That Would Send IRS Against Human Traffickers
Sold into sex slavery: Lawmakers work to end underground sex trafficking

February 2014
FBI: Kids Forced Into Prostitution For Super Bowl
Underage workers rescued, 45 arrested in sex trafficking ring
New York Man Sentenced to Over 24 Years For Violent Sex Trafficking
14-Year Old Girl Freed After Forced Into Prostitution For 3 Months In Queens
It Happened To Me: I Almost Became A Victim of Human Trafficking at the Sochi Olympics
Five Indicted In Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Retired NY radio personality indicted on federal child exploitation charge
Feds seek public’s help to identify possible child victims of accused sex offender
Leader of international sex trafficking ring sentenced to life in prison
Women describes how she escaped her pimp and became a victim of human sex trafficking
Sex Trafficking survivor calls on community to know the signs
Maryland lawmakers seek to toughen laws against human trafficking

January 2014
Child sex trafficker sentenced to more than 21 years in prison
Man Sold 13-year old Girl into Prostitution, Plied Her With Drugs
Victims’ Rights Group Teams With Church To Combat Sex Trafficking
Human trafficking around BWI airport is a “transient crime”
Super Bowl prostitution: NJ works to curb sex trafficking
A Bold Plan to Aid Sex-Trafficking Victims
Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking in Howard County
“How a Girl Sold at 8 Finds Hope”
Ohio man pleads guilty in Howard Co. to human trafficking
Man kept girl as sex slave for 14 years
Calvert corrections officer arrested on human trafficking, prostitution charges
Baltimore Man Indicted For Sexual Exploitation Of 16-Year-Old Girl
Two Men Indicted For Sex Trafficking Of A Minor
Baltimore Man Indicted On Charges Related To The Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor
Former Baltimore Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Operating A Prostitution Business
El Paso juvenile probation officer arrested on federal sex trafficking charges

December 2013
Police shut down 8 businesses, claim they were brothels posing as spas
How text messages help The Polaris Project zero in on human trafficking
‘Tricked,’ a Documentary about Human Trafficking
Spotting human trafficking on flights
D.C. officer charged with producing child pornography to be released pending trial
Detroit Spa Shut Down Over Human Trafficking Allegations
Colorado Woman Arrested on Human Trafficking and Pimping Charges
Two men arrested in human trafficking investigation
Report: Kentucky authorities investigated 20 allegations of child human trafficking
Man accused of human trafficking
Pimp Arrested For Human Trafficking
Racine Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Human Trafficking
Tulsa man charged with human trafficking after police say he used three juvenile female runaways as prostitutes
Combating sex trafficking
Baltimore Brothel Operator Sentenced to Over 11 years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor

November 2013
Ohio man sentenced to 20 years for human trafficking in Baltimore County
Ohio man sentenced in Baltimore County for human trafficking
Ohio man sentenced in Balto. Co. human trafficking case
Slavery Isn’t a Thing of the Past
Tulsa Man Arrested For Human Trafficking
Ensuring that Typhoon Haiyan Doesn’t Trigger a Sex-Trafficking Epidemic
Former Brothel Now Used to Fight Trafficking
Staggering Report Exposes US Sex Trafficking
US couple face 1 year in Dominican jail for human trafficking
Human trafficking suspects face new charges
Three women rescued from ‘slavery’ after 30 years in London home
Milwaukee man faces charges of sex trafficking
Two Teen Girls Are Home After Possible Human Trafficking
Del Monte Possibly Involved With Labor Trafficking in Hawaii
Fresno human trafficking crackdown zeroes in on massage parlors
New Bill Provides Justice For Trafficking Victim
Human Trafficking Laws Could Change Across the Country
Suburban Man Charged With Labor Trafficking
Sex Trafficking Reaches Into Rural Towns
I was a modern-day slave in America
Anne Arundel Police Bust 9 in Prostitution Sting
Ringleader Sentenced to 35 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking Charges
Human Trafficking in Southwest Virginia

October 2013
Governor McDonnell Issues Executive Directive to Expand Virginia’s Fight Against Human Trafficking
New efforts to combat human trafficking
Howard County police: 3 charged in 2 human trafficking cases
Howard Co. police charge three with human trafficking
Trial delayed again for couple accused of trafficking daughters
With Special Courts, State Aims to Steer Women Away from Sex Trade
Experts: Thousands of young Md. women at risk of human trafficking
From the Streets to the ‘World’s Best Mom’ and letters to the editor
India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria on slavery’s list of shame, says report
Girl smuggled into Britain to have her ‘organs harvested’
An Underworld of Male Slaves Comes to Light in the U.K.
Elizabeth resident faces human trafficking charge in teen pornography case in Parsippany
Protect foster children from sex trafficking
Man pleads guilty in human trafficking case
A Bold Plan to Aid Sex-Trafficking Victims
Man Charged With Raping Minor In Md. Hotel
Mass. Man Accused Of Human Trafficking Along East Cost, Including Md.
15 plead guilty to prostitution charges

September 2013
Missouri man gets 20 years for keeping young woman as sex slave
Illegal Immigrant Sent to Prison For Sex Trafficking
The Game: Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,
Tunisian Girls are Coming Home Pregnant After Performing “Sexual Jihad” in Syria
Beyond Fair Trade: Helping Coffee Farmers
NY pimp sentenced in Md. to 36 years for human trafficking and gun crimes
Prostitution arrest leads government to try to seize assets
NY to set up special sex trafficking courts
Stubborn cycle of runaways becoming prostitutes
More gangs entering into child sex trade, prosecutors say
New York Pimp Sentenced in Maryland to 36 years in Prison for Sex Trafficking and Gun Crimes
Underage girls found in sex trafficking ring

August 2013
Human Trafficking Victims Can Text “Be Free” to Get Help
Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden In Plain Sight
Families involved in sex trafficking of aboriginal women and girls
9 Things You Should Know About Sex Trafficking
“Modern Slavery” bill to tighten laws on human trafficking (UK)
A heavy toll for the victims of sex trafficking
Up Close with Cathy Unruh: Human Trafficking
MCASA’s Frontline: Summer 2013 Issue
China to phase out use of prisoner’s organs for transplant
Minnesota teen cheerleader pleads guilty to prostitution charges
Howard police arrest 10 men in prostitution sting
Roanoke Count Police Fighting Human Trafficking

July 2013
Human Trafficking interview WOLC
NJ: Mexicans forced into prostitution, 6 charged
Sioux Falls man gets 30 years for sex trafficking
Howard county group advocates against human trafficking
Lusby church group to host workshop about human trafficking
Groups: More needed to fight human trafficking

Articles about the July 29 FBI Raid

The Washington Post
Latinos Post
The Guardian
Fox News
NY Daily News
The Baltimore Sun
The Huffington Post
ABC News
June 2013
Aberdeen man accused of child sex abuse
MD Woman Held on Human Trafficking Charge
Party Promotion Business Exposed As Prostitution Ring; 3 Charged
Illegal alien sentenced to 46 months for transporting more than 100 women interstate for prostitution
MD Sex Offender Faces Human Trafficking Charges

May 2013
State Police Make Arrests for Prostitution and Human Trafficking
Baltimore City Cop & Teen Wife Charged With Prostitution
Maryland man indicted for attempted sex trafficking and interstate transportation for prostitution
Prostitution ringleader gets 3 years in jail for human trafficking

April 2013

Justice Week Exposes Sex Trafficking
Prostitution Ringleader Gets 3 Years in Jail for Human Trafficking
Sex Trade, Then and Now
Pa. man charged in sexual solicitation
Bedford girl victim of sexual luring
Sex offender arrested by C3I

March 2013
Two Charged with Prostitution , Human Trafficking: Feds Seize Several Baltimore Properties in Bust
Officers in SC Arrest Man Wanted for Maryland Prostitution Ring
2 charged with prostitution, Human Trafficking

February 2013
Christian Group Launches Social Media Campaign Against Sex Trade During Super Bowl
Super Bowl Is Single Largest Human Trafficking Incident In U.S.: Attorney General
On Human Trafficking ‘National Freedom Day,’ Survivor Shares Story of Captivity, Advocacy
Capitol Heights, Md. Man Gets 12-Year Prison Sentence for Pimping Teens

January 2013
Online Brothels
Human Trafficking in Baltimore
Maryland State trooper charged with soliciting minor for prostitution

December 2012
Maryland Woman Accused Of Recruiting Teen For Sex Trafficking Ring

November 2012
Muscatine Human Trafficking and Prostitution Investigation

October 2012
Leader of teen prostitution ring gets 40 years
Human trafficker sentenced to 30 years

September 2012
12 year old girl prevented from being trafficked in Anne Arundel County
Prostitution sting in Jessup nets 23 arrests
Maryland Man Found Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court Of Sex Trafficking And Transporting A Minor Interstate For The Purpose Of Prostitution

August 2012
Former go-go dancer at Atlanta gay bar found guilty of human trafficking charges
Human trafficking operation busted in Providence
Portantino’s Tattoo Removal Bill Passes Legislature
Dayton man accused of human trafficking
Mayor to appoint committee on human trafficking

July 2012
Two men, including Baltimore City Firefighter, charged in prostitution ring.
Baltimore firefighter charged with running prostitution ring, unlicensed club
Undercover operation in Linthicum leads to arrest
Second Linthicum sting leads to prostitution arrest

June 2012
I don’t own my child’s body
U.S. Midwest in crosshairs of child sex trafficking fight
Ohio woman charged with prostituting daughter
A “Crime in the Dark” Human Trafficking
Group Hopes to Increase Sex Trafficking Awareness
42,000 Modern-day slaves rescued but millions in bondage, trafficking report says
FBI saves 79 kids held as sex slaves in the US

May 2012
9 men to be sentenced in UK sex ring case
Man arrested for sex trafficking in Sacramento County
Experts work to combat Md.’s growing human trafficking problem
Nabbed by police, prostitute turns in madam

April 2012
Sold for sex at a tender age
Jury in Tenn. to start deliberations on Monday in sex trafficking case against Somalis
A journey from good student to underage prostitute
One woman’s escape from human trafficking
Is Prostitution Safer When It’s Legal?

March 2012
Some say suspect in alleged sex trafficking case is a victim, too
Fairfax-based Crips members charged with recruiting girls for prostitution

February 2012
MS-13 gang leader convicted of sex trafficking teens in Northern Virginia

January 2012
Voice of Survivors: Rani Hong
Human Trafficking becomes concern for Indianapolis
Building effective anti-trafficking efforts: Drivers as allies
Police Bust Prostitution & Human Trafficking Ring In Rockville

December 2011
Report: Patchwork of US state laws on human trafficking hampers efforts to crack down on crime
Simple Steps for Students to Fight Human Trafficking
Ky. lawmakers want changes to human trafficking law, say state should be safe harbor

November 2011
Ten from Baltimore arrested in human trafficking ring
Five Women from Maryland Escape Alleged Prostitution Ring
An American Nightmare
More charged filed in Baltimore sex trafficking case
Woman shares story to save others from sex trafficking

October 2011
NJ man charged with trafficking at Linthicum hotel

September 2011
Fugitive wanted on child porn charges was living in Jersey City
State Police Arrest in NJ Man in Human Trafficking Case
Man held on human trafficking, prostitution charges

August 2011
New Limits on Bus Drivers for Schools

July 2011
Slavery in the Modern Age

May 2011
MD man gets 10 years for transporting 12 year-olds to engage in prostitution

April 2011
What About American Girls Sold on the Streets?
Rachel Lloyd of New York City’s GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Service) gives an interview to NPR about sex trafficking
Virginia man sentenced to more than 7 years in prison on child porn charge

March 2011
Life after prostitution: Bill would erase convictions in some cases

February 2011
Launch of Michigan Law’s comprehensive human trafficking database coincides with symposium on slavery

August 2010
Human Trafficking in the US: One Woman’s Story

April 2010
U.S. Army Soldier Sentenced to Over 17 Years in Prison For Operating A Brothel From Millersville Apartment and to Drug Trafficking
Fredrick Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor

January 2010
Vegas Undercover

November 2009
Two Sentenced to 10 Years Each in Sex Trafficking Conspiracy Involving Three Minor Girls

June 2009
Westminster Woman Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking of a Child

March 2009
Defendant sentenced for transporting aliens to Maryland for prostitution

December 2007
Sex Slaves, human trafficking… in America?

Need help? Know someone who does?

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or 360-463-7912