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Fact Sheet: Civil Rights Division Efforts to Combat Modern-Day Slavery
Trafficking in persons is the equivalent of modern-day slavery. It is a crime that often involves the recruitment and smuggling of foreign nationals into the United States to force or coerce them into prostitution, labor or illicit sexual activity, and in many circumstances, it also victimizes U.S. citizens. Under the leadership of the President, this Administration has taken unprecedented efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking. The Justice Department, along with federal, state and local partners, plays a key role in battling this deeply troubling, violent and often hidden crime.
Increased Prosecutions Since 2001
- To date, during FY 2007, the Civil Rights Division, working with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices around the nation, has initiated 60 investigations, charged 26defendants in eightcases and obtained 36 convictions involving human trafficking.
- In FY 2006, the Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices initiated 168 investigations, charged 111 defendants in 32 cases and obtained 98 convictions involving human trafficking.
- Since FY 2001, 276 of the 386 defendants prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, in human trafficking-related offenses, have been charged with or pleaded guilty to violating statutes under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA).
- From FYs 2001- 2006, the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have:
Help to Victims
- Prosecuted 360 defendants compared to 89 defendants charged during the prior six years, representing a more than 300% increase;
- Secured 238 convictions and guilty pleas, a 250% increase from the 67obtained in the previous six years;
- Opened 639 new investigations, approximately 399% more than the 128 opened in the previous six years.
- To date, prosecutors in the Division and other law enforcement personnel have sought, and the Department of Homeland Security has granted, continued presence to 798 victims to extend their stay in the U.S. to assist with law enforcement efforts.
- To date, 1,123trafficking victims from 72 countries have been assisted by the Civil Rights Division and other law enforcement personnel in obtaining refugee-type benefits from the Department of Health and Human Services under the TVPA.
- On April 25, 2005, Mexican nationals Josue Flores Carreto, Gerardo Flores Carreto, and Daniel Perez Alonso pleaded guilty to 27-counts relating to the Carreto family sex trafficking ring. According to the indictment, for 13 years the men recruited young women from Mexico, smuggled them into the U.S., and forced them into prostitution in New York City. The young women were repeatedly threatened, beaten, and emotionally abused by the Carretos and their confederates, while being forced to service up to 20 men per day. On January 19, 2007, the Mexican government extradited Consuelo Carreto Valencia, the Carreto’s mother, to the U.S. along with 14 other criminal defendants. Valencia is charged with conspiring with her co-defendants to compel the victims into forced prostitution and is expected to be arraigned on the pending charges in February 2007. The Carreto brothers were sentenced to 50 years in prison for their crimes. Their co-defendant, Alonso, received 25 years in prison.
- On June 23, 2005, former owner of the Daewoosa garment factory in American Samoa, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for holding more than 200 people in forced servitude. This case is the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department with respect to the number of victims involved. The victims were recruited from China and Vietnam and each paid approximately $5,000 to $8,000 to gain employment in Lee’s factory, where they were then subjected to minimal pay, food deprivation, and brutal beatings. One woman lost an eye as a result of the abuse. A manager and a garment worker in Lee’s factory were each convicted as co-conspirators and sentenced to 70 and 51 months in prison, respectively.
- On November 16, 2006, Jefferson Calimlim Sr. and his wife Elnora Calimlim, both medical doctors in Milwaukee, Wis., were each sentenced to four years in prison for forcing a woman to work as their domestic servant and illegally harboring her for 19 years in their residence. The Calimlims were convicted of using threats of serious harm and physical restraint against their victim whom they recruited and brought from the Philippines to the U.S. when she was 19 years old. The victim testified that for 19 years she was hidden in the Calimlim’s home, forbidden from going outside, and told that she would be arrested, imprisoned and deported if she was discovered. The Calimlim’s son was also convicted of harboring an illegal alien and sentenced to 120 days of home confinement, three years of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine.