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Old 07-23-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Native American Human Trafficking

http://bismarcktribune.com/news/stat...9bb2963f4.html

Prosecutors in N.D. and S.D. warn about human trafficking

FARGO — Top federal prosecutors from North and South Dakota have added human trafficking to their list of crimes affecting Native Americans at an increased rate in the two states.

U.S. attorneys Brendan Johnson of South Dakota and Timothy Purdon of North Dakota said during a conference on family violence Tuesday that both states are seeing more cases of girls and young women being recruited for prostitution and drug rings.

Three new indictments for human trafficking have been handed down in South Dakota in the last three months, Johnson said.

“You have people who treat their victims like they’re not humans,” Johnson said after talking to a group that included police, social workers, prosecutors, counselors and community leaders.

The operations are formed mainly in populated areas, but American Indian girls are particularly at risk, the prosecutors said. Some of them were recruited by a Sioux Falls-area man who was convicted last year of sex trafficking of a child.

“These young girls were brutalized. They were humiliated,” Johnson said.

Brandon Thompson, 28, of Tea, S.D., was sentenced to life in prison on the sex trafficking charge.

“This is one area where the federal government has gotten it right,” Johnson said of the penalty.

A recent sex trafficking case in North Dakota involved several victims from the Fort Berthold Reservation. Dustin Morsette, 22, of New Town, was convicted of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, drug trafficking and witness tampering. He is awaiting sentencing.

Authorities said Morsette recruited minors and young adults to be part of a gang he described as the Black Disciples. He allegedly forced gang members to distribute marijuana for him and engage in sex acts with him.

One of the investigators in that case, Bureau of Indian Affairs agent Mike White, said the increase in oil workers has added to worries about sex trafficking. But he said recent convictions on human trafficking and other violent crime has made victims and others more willing to help law enforcement.

“I have hope. I’ve seen it already,” White said in an interview Tuesday. “Once they know people are being prosecuted, they are coming forward.”

Purdon, the U.S. attorney from North Dakota, said the campaign against violent crime on the reservation is a long process. He noted that an American Indian woman born in the United States has a 1-in-3 chance of being sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

“Improving public safety in Indian country is not something you are going to knock out in two years,” he said. “If we can sustain this for a period of years, I am hopeful, I am confident, we can impact some of these statistics we find to be unacceptable.”
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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Here's another scary incident that is going to start in our high schools...

strip clubs recruiting in our High schools for dancers as the Immigration Minister has put paid to foreign sex trade dancers being allowed in by Visas.

Club owners said they would start recruiting hugh schools students to fill the hole lost with no immigration of "exotic" dancers... guess who will in all likelihood be targeted? Young Native girls.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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The lure of quick easy money has a strong effect, especially when these men are promising the world to these young girls, then get them "trapped" into servitude by intimidation, coercion, violence, drug addiction, gang initiation, etc.

Good that the U.S. Attorney Office is aware of the level of problems out in the rural areas and the reserves. The cultural barriers along with vast distances out there have been detrimental to solving crimes against people, especially the young who will carry emotional scars into adulthood. Those offices need more culturally-aware investigators to make inroads into fighting this type of criminal enterprise.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:42 PM   #4
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Global problem of sexual debt bondage

http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/forcedlabor.html

Forced Labor and Debt Bondage
Introduction

The idea of forced labor conjures up sights of people in shackles being led off to perform hard labor to pay back debts. No more. The modern picture of forced labor might be young girls working long hours as indentured servants to cruel employers, or sewing long hours in sweat shops for a mere pittance of what their time is worth, or more often young girls living in hovels and being forced to perform acts of prostitution against their will. All over the globe, young women are the current faces of forced labor and debt bondage. Some of the girls in these cases have been duped into volunteering for this type of servitude by being promised a better life with lots of money and good working conditions. But most often the young girls have either been stolen from their villages or sold off by their poor families in order to have some money to buy necessities for other family members.
According to Human Rights Watch, the practice of "debt bondage" among sexual traffickers is routine, and women often find that their so-called debts only increase and can never be fully repaid. (Available: http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/wrd/trafficking.htm)

Some of the worst cases of forced labor have been documented and are reviewed below:

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (a U.S. territory)

This set of 14 islands set in the Pacific Islands includes the island of Guam. The CNMI has become a center of international human trafficking operations, with connections to the People's Republic of China, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Today there are an estimated 40,000 indentured workers in the CNMI who have been sent their after being intentionally deceived about compensation, health benefits, housing and the type of work they will be doing. These trafficked non-US workers are subject to debt bondage and/or forced labor. Even though the Northern Mariana Islands fly under the US flag, their labor standards, and minimum wages do not have to comply with our US standards. The CNMI government retains a prominent US law firm - paying over $4.25 million for lobbying efforts to forestall implementation of federal labor, immigration and minimum wage laws in the CNMI. The Northern Mariana Islands are the only US territory that has local control over both immigration & naturalization and minimum wage. The government there has repeatedly reneged on its promises to US federal authorities to equalize its minimum wage with the federal minimum wage and to reduce the number of nonresident guest workers. All the while, items produced there are entitled to display the "Made in the USA" label. (Global Survival Network, 1999)
Japan

In Japan there are in excess of 22,000 Thai women overstaying visas according to the Japanese Immigration Bureau. The Thai Embassy claims that 80-90% of these women are in the sex trade business. The majority of them have left Thailand voluntarily with the promise of waitressing or factory jobs. To their surprise, they quickly learn of their "debt". They are soon sold to a broker with the money they make and their tips being confiscated by their bosses. They often become sick or pregnant, with their cost of treatment being added to their "debt". If they contract AIDS it is grounds for resale, being sold to another broker as "fresh". But resale means starting repayment all over again. Human Rights Watch, a worldwide rights watchdog group, has intervened and found that the Japanese government is very unmotivated to assist these women and treat them as illegal aliens. The Japan Penal Code creates another problem in referring all of these cases to the Immigration Bureau which places the women into overcrowded deportation centers for prolonged time. (Fuller, 2001)
Kuwait

Nearly 2,000 women domestic workers every year since the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 have fled the homes of abusive employers. These women are mainly from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and India. They report patterns of rape and physical assault, with debt bondage and illegal confinement being common. Kuwait has long depended on foreign workers to be the backbone on its labor. Unfortunately, Kuwait's law excludes domestic workers from their labor law protections. The maids' exclusion from the labor law creates isolation and denies them even minimal protection against unfair practices. Because of the isolation and the stigma of sexual assault, most domestic workers face many obstacles and are deterred from reporting employer abuse to the authorities. Human Rights Watch found that most of these offenses go unprosecuted and that the police often refuse to investigate their complaints. (Human Rights Watch Global Report on Women's Human Rights, 1995)
Women from Moldova

Moldova, an impoverished country between Romania and Ukraine, is quite destitute with the average person living on less than one US dollar a day. The deprivation of the population of Moldova has been a breeding ground for organized criminal gangs involved in the illegal trafficking of women. Poor families are coerced to sell their daughters for a small amount of money, or destitute women are lured to foreign countries by the assurance of work, income and visas only to find themselves forced into slave labor. In Kosovo, where some of the women end up, Albanian gangsters dominate the lucrative sex trade. (One Albanian gang brands their women to prevent them from being poached by other traffickers). Some of these young women are sent to the United States. These trafficked women are reluctant to seek help from police because they know they are in this country illegally. US officials often treat trafficked women as criminals rather than victims. They are often deported before they can testify when a trafficking ring is broken up. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is legally required to deal with such women in the same way as other undocumented workers who have broken the law. (Lee, 2001)
According to one brothel owner (as told to the Canadian magazine Macleans), peddling narcotics pales in comparison to the money made on women because once a drug is sold, it's gone, but a girl "can be sold over and over before she collapses, goes mad, commits suicide, or dies of disease". (Lee, 2001)

Efforts to stop sex trafficking are under way, but with such a global problem, the issue is compounded by local governments' lack of laws and enfor
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:52 PM   #5
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Alaska area sex trafficking

http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/tri...ive-women.html


Tribal Law & Order Act Making Difference in Sex Trafficking of Alaska Native Women
Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents.

WASHINGTON - Last Thursday, the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs conducted a hearing called "Tribal Law and Order Act One Year Later: Have We Improved Public Safety and Justice Throughout Indian Country?"

Testimony from several witnesses centered on what federal agencies are doing to comply with Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 that was signed into law by President Barak Obama on July 29, 2011.

"The United States Attorney in Alaska has made the sex trafficking of Alaska Native women a top priority," testified US Attorney Brendon V. Johnson. "The United States Attorney Office recently prosecuted several significant human trafficking cases, including four defendants who are alleged to have used Craig's List to traffic twenty victims, causing many of them to engage in commercial sex acts. Several of the victims are Alaska Natives."

Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, US Department of Justice, testified the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 "covers an extraordinary range of important policies, organized into six subtitles:

federal accountability and coordination;
state accountability and coordination;
empowering tribal law-enforcement agencies and tribal governments;
tribal justice systems;
Indian Country crime data collection and information sharing; and
domestic violence and sexual assault protection."
Much of the testimony dealt with the complexities of the Tribal Law and Order Act. Federal agencies have worked aggressively to implement and comply with the Act. Much time and effort has been spent on hiring more prosecutors and training law enforcement on a variety of American Indian legal and justice issues.

One area that has received high priority since the enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act is the combating the high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault protection.

"In addition, the FBI and Anchorage Police Department recently conducted a joint presentation to several hundred attendees at a Bureau of Indian Affairs Conference on the dangers of sex trafficking of Alaska Natives to raise awareness of this problem," Johnson continued. "The program was so well received that it has been replicated in rural communities. The United States Attorney Office recently received funding to hire a rural Federal prosecutor who is working with Alaska State Troopers to remove violent individuals from rural villages."

Other US Attorney Offices around in Indian Country have prioritized violence against American Indian women by conducting special training on "how to recognize, avoid and report sexual assault and domestic violence."

Some 600 junior and senior high school students from the Wind River Reservation schools in Wyoming attended a conference on Empowering Native American Youth that discussed sexting, cyberbullying, dating violence and sexual assault, according to Johnson.

"No one denies that violence against Native women in the US has reached epidemic proportions: 34% of Native women will be raped in their lifetimes and 39 % will be the victim of domestic violence," testified Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians.

"According to a 2010 GAO Study, US Attorneys decline to prosecute 67% of sexual abuse and related matters that occur in Indian country. The Tribal Law and Order Act takes steps to improve the safety of Indian women, but there are still several issues that it leaves unaddressed, namely the lack of tribal authority to prosecute non-Indians committing heinous crimes on the reservation."

"The lack of tribal jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders on Indian lands may be the key reason for the creation and perpetuation of disproportionate violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women," Johnson Pata stated.

posted September 26, 2011 8:50 am edt
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:13 PM   #6
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http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...2-charged.html


2 charged in Oklahoma death; body found in duffel bag

Jul. 24, 2012 12:09 AM
Associated Press


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two men were charged Monday in the death of an Oklahoma woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffel bag behind a grocery store last year.

Jimmy Massey and Luis Ruiz were being held without bond at the Oklahoma County jail. The Oklahoma County District Attorney's office charged them with first-degree murder in the October killing of 19-year-old Carina Saunders. Her body was discovered in a duffel bag spotted by animal welfare workers as they rounded up feral cats in Bethany, an Oklahoma City suburb.

The medical examiner's office has said Saunders died a violent death, but has not disclosed details.


Massey was already in custody on a drug-related charge. An attorney listed as having represented him in his drug case, Mitch Solomon, didn't return a message seeking comment.

A jailer said she had no information about whether Ruiz had retained an attorney to represent him.

According to an affidavit, a witness told Bethany police she and Saunders went to a house in south Oklahoma City, where Ruiz beat Saunders and tied her up. The witness said Ruiz dragged Saunders to an upstairs room, tied her to a table and cut off her left foot. She said he also tried to cut off her right foot, but the saw broke.

That witness jumped out of a window to escape, the affidavit stated.

Another witness told police someone told her the killing had been recorded on Ruiz's cellphone. She said she was with Ruiz in a hotel in May, looked at his phone while he was in the bathroom, saw video of the killing and recognized Ruiz as the person who was cutting off Saunders' foot, according to the affidavit.

Another affidavit stated that Massey told police he was present when Saunders was killed and saw it happen. But police say he told another jail inmate that he was actually involved in the killing and provided details that only police and the medical examiner's office would know.

Bethany Police Chief Phil Cole has said Saunders' killing was tied to human trafficking, prostitution and a drug ring.



Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...#ixzz21bHXlokj
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