U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI announced today a federal human trafficking takedown in the District of Nevada. With this takedown, the District of Nevada closes out 2020 having filed more human trafficking cases than in any previous year.
Human trafficking — a crime that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to lure victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation — is a top priority area for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and their law enforcement and community partners. Every year, millions of women, men, and children are trafficked worldwide, including in Nevada.
“Combating sex trafficking is one of our prosecutors’ top enforcement priorities, and our office now has the pieces in place to stay at the forefront of this fight,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Heading into 2021, we remain committed to increasing investigations and prosecutions of traffickers, taking them off the streets and away from victims.”
“The FBI will always be vigilant in pursuing those who choose to prey on our most vulnerable, especially our children,” said Special Agent in Charge Rouse. “I would like to thank our law enforcement partners and their task force officers as part of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force for their commitment to making these arrests.”
This month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought five prosecutions related to human trafficking. Two of the five defendants were charged with federal sex trafficking offenses:
The case was investigated by the Henderson Police Department and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Supriya Prasad is prosecuting the case.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is comprised of federal, local, and state law enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Walkingshaw is prosecuting the case.
In addition to the sex trafficking cases above, the December 2020 takedown included three other individuals charged with federal firearm offenses who either had been previously convicted of pandering offenses or whose alleged offenses related to vice operations:
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Nevada Division of Probation, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bianca Pucci is prosecuting the case.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bianca Pucci is prosecuting the case.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Cowhig is prosecuting the case.
Other federal sex trafficking charges that federal prosecutors filed in the District of Nevada in 2020 include:
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Supriya Prasad is prosecuting the case.
The case was also investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Supriya Prasad is prosecuting the case.
A complaint and/or indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In addition to prosecutions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prevention and spreading awareness of human trafficking. This year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office co-hosted training events for attorneys, victim services providers, and the community. The Department of Justice provided non-profit service providers with a total of $998,714 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and its component, the Office for Victims of Crime, to provide safe, stable housing and appropriate services to survivors of human trafficking.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, contact the Homeland Security Investigations’ Blue Campaign at 1-866-347-2423 or get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Report missing children or child pornography to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).