Mesquite man sentenced to life in federal prison for child sex trafficking

MESQUITE, Texas (U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas) — Martavious Detrel Banks Keys, a/k/a “Cheese” and “Matt,” 34, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to Life in federal prison for felony child sex trafficking offenses.

The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Keys was convicted in February 2017, following a three-day jury trial, on two counts of child sex trafficking and one count of sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion. Keys has been in custody since the time of his arrest in May 2016. 

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Troubles with drug dealing and human trafficking may close Milwaukee's Diamond Inn Motel

Problems with crimes like sex trafficking and drug dealing may force the closure of a northwest side motel.

Members of a Milwaukee Common Council committee voted unanimously Tuesday against renewing the license for the Diamond Inn Motel at 6222 W. Fond du Lac Ave.

The Licenses Committee vote came after frustrated neighbors testified about witnessing sex acts and drug activity at the property.

"I've been going through a lot. The last two years, it's been — I hate to say it — but it's been hell," said Javonta Brown, a motel neighbor. "Me and my husband, we have watched drug actions going on and on and on and on in front of our house."

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Brownback lauds new law aiding fight against human trafficking

Gov. Sam Brownback described human trafficking as a modern iteration of slavery Monday, affirming his justification for signing legislation to strengthen interdiction and prosecution of people who exploit children in Kansas.

The House and Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 40 to create new crimes of promoting travel for child exploitation and of internet trading in child pornography. Under the law, human trafficking suspects wouldn’t be able to use as a defense lack of knowledge about a victim’s age or that a victim had consented to be oppressed.

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GATS to donate $1 to charity for every registration before July 4

The Great American Trucking Show is slated for Aug. 24-26 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Truckers who register between now and July 4 will be helping out one of three charities.

With more than 500,000 square feet of exhibitor space, GATS registration is a steal at … free. No charge for tickets that are preordered online. Otherwise, admission will be $10 at the gate.

This year, GATS has partnered up with Truckers Against Trafficking, and the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. GATS will donate $1 to one of the charities for every trucker who registers before Independence Day. Truckers can choose which charity they want the dollar to go toward.

Events scheduled at GATS include the CCJ Market Movers seminar, Partners in Business, Trucker Talent Search, Trucking’s Top Rookie, and the Pride and Polish contest.

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Lauren Hersh: Interview with a Uniter

Lauren Hersh is the national director of World Without Exploitation, a coalition to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation. WorldWE is coming together to create a world where no person is bought, sold, or exploited. Lauren is an internationally recognized lawyer, activist, educator, and writer working to combat violence against women and girls in schools, online, and in the legal arena.

We asked Lauren why World Without Exploitation was founded and how she unites so many different organizations around one vision.

Q. What is the main thing that World Without Exploitation hopes to accomplish?

WorldWE was founded because we recognized that if we really wanted to create a world where no one was bought, sold, or exploited, we needed to come together. Around the country there is so much good work happening. But the reality is, if I were in Ohio, and you’re in Boston, I likely wouldn’t know that your work was happening, and you wouldn’t know that my work was happening. We were very often reinventing the wheel. We recognized that when we come together and join forces, we’re infinitely more powerful. So, we wanted to be able to leverage those partnerships to speak in a collective voice, in some respects, and then celebrate individuals’ voices on other fronts.

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Police: Greenville woman arrested in human trafficking scheme

The Greenville Police Department said a woman is in custody after the extortion of a dozen victims.

Officers said 42-year-old Veronica Perdomo is being held without bond on 12 counts of trafficking, 7 counts of blackmail, 12 counts of obtaining signature or property under false pretenses and one count of fraudulently impersonating an officer to secure property.

According to investigators Perdomo represented herself as an attorney and Homeland Security agent, offering to help victims obtain legal status and legal documents in exchange for money.

According to arrest warrants, she also officiated multiple fake wedding ceremonies.

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Grassley, Feinstein, Cornyn, Klobuchar, Others Introduce Legislation to Support Victims of Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today introduced bipartisan legislation that will establish and reauthorize critical programs to prevent human trafficking, promote justice for survivors, provide services to victims and increase federal coordination to enhance the federal government’s response to the crisis of exploitation. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“Victims of human trafficking are too often hidden in plain sight, in need of help, because we don’t know how to identify them or address their needs. This bill takes the urgently needed steps to support victims in their pursuit of justice and their search for normal lives. In conjunction with other bills I’ve supported and sponsored, I intend to continue fighting against the horrendous work of traffickers and find justice for victims,” Grassley said.

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Man accused of 3 counts of human trafficking

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 43-year-old man accused of recruiting women into prostitution, giving them heroin, than then taking all the money they received was arrested Tuesday, charged with three counts of coercing sexual activity for human trafficking.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators said Patrick Trottie, 43, found his victims between November 2016 and February 2017 through advertisements on

According to the arrest affidavit, he gave them a ride to his Baymeadows-area hotel and gave them heroin, then said they owned them and were not allowed to leave until they worked off their debt. He told them what to charge for their sex services and set up their "dates."

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When a Boyfriend Turns Out to be a Pimp

In 2008 Iryna, a 19-year-old girl living in New York City, was approached by a charismatic young man at a subway station. He asked for directions, but continued to ask about her life. The young brunette was charmed. He asked her for a date, and the romance intensified. “He swept me off my feet,” Iryna says. “He kissed my hand in public and opened car doors for me.” He was her first boyfriend. He made her feel special.
Little did Iryna know that he was a pimp on the prowl. The charming suitor didn’t want to love and cherish her, but to manipulate her vulnerabilities in order to control and exploit. He wanted her to trust him so that he could sell her services to other men.

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The Conversation You Must Have With Your Sons

To the Parents of U.S. Teenagers,

(An open letter.)

Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?

Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?

How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”

Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, “Your sexual experiences don’t dictate your worth just like a woman’s sexual experiences don’t dictate hers.

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Experts say they've seen human trafficking at "every high school in Northern Va."

FAIRFAX, Va. - “During my tenure as a detective working human trafficking we've identified a victim from at least every high school and several middle schools the Northern Virginia area,” explained Detective Woolf who has been working to combat human trafficking and gang activity in the region for years.
Experts say average age of entry for a human trafficking victim in Northern Virginia is 15, however Det. Woolf has worked with victims as young as 9.

“Most [trafficking victims] go to school everyday and sleep in their own beds. The trafficking occurs when they get out of school until maybe 8 or 9 at night and often times parents think the teen is simply out with their friends, boyfriend, someone and doesn't realize that their child is actually being exploited,” said Woolf.

Woolf said the large number of the traffickers he’s interviewed say they prefer to target upper and middle class teens in Fairfax County because they are easier to manipulate. Their lack of street experience makes them “more vulnerable.”

"These gang members, these individuals can coerce these individuals into doing whatever they want -- it’s all based on relationships,” explained Deepa Patel, Executive Director of Trauma and Hope in Springfield. Patel works with sex trafficking victims, gang members and sex offenders.

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Man accused of sex trafficking wife may be connected to child's death in Illinois

LAS VEGAS - A call from a woman living in Las Vegas led police in Illinois to the body of a small child, Metro Police said.

Officers in Centerville, Illinois were led to the gruesome discovery when the woman went to a Las Vegas women’s shelter for help. The woman advised told shelter workers that she was sex trafficked by her husband for the last two years.

The victim whose identity wasn't released told authorities that she and her husband, 34-year-old Jason Quate, lived in an apartment near East Sahara Avenue and South Eastern Avenue. But the two had previously lived in the state of Illinois.

According to Metro Police, the woman also told officers that there were two juveniles still living in the home and that Quate was abusive to them.

The victim said during their time in Illinois Quate killed one of their three children. She said Quate put the little girl's body in a container in a house in Centerville, Illinois.

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Attorney General warns against poolside posts

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Despite the weather, many in central Arkansas will spend at least parts of their weekend by the pool or maybe the lake. If you're one of those people then this alert is for you.

The Attorney General is warning parents against posting pictures of your kids in their bathing suits on social media.

At this time of the year, parents share seemingly harmless photos of their kids by the pool or at the beach. But according to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, what they may not know is there are people online who actually seek out those photos for their own disgusting purposes, or trade and sell them for even more explicit photos.

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Second Oklahoman sentenced to prison for traveling to Peru and having sex with children

A former Ada bail bondsman was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for traveling to Peru and having sex there with underage girls.

Robert Earl Pierce, 63, also was fined $17,500 and required to register as a sex offender after his release.

"For the rest of my life, I'll bear this shame, this humiliation, this stigma," he told the judge Monday in a voice choked with emotion. "It will never go away I know."

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Rescuing Sex Slaves with Soap and Paper

ARLINGTON, Va. – One group fighting sex trafficking calls itself S.O.A.P. - Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. And they’ve actually found a way to use soap to battle this second leading crime in America.

This weekend, they gathered a couple of dozen volunteers in Arlington, Virginia across the Potomac from Washington D.C. to pack bags with bars of soap that have the number of the National Human Trafficking Hotline on the wrapper. Then they delivered these bags to hotels and motels around the D.C. Metro area.

The wrapper says “Are you being forced to do anything you do not want to do? Have you been threatened if you try to leave? Have you witnessed young girls being prostituted? If so, please call: 1-888-3737-888 – National Human Trafficking Hotline.”

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