The D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2004 to increase the prosecution of traffickers while identifying and serving the victims of this horrific crime. In 2004, the Task Force became one of 42 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) trafficking grant recipients. Link to grant announcement:
The Four Main Task Force Goals
- To facilitate a more coordinated anti-trafficking effort in the D.C. area through protocol development, extensive community outreach, proactive investigations, law enforcement training, intelligence sharing, and more formalized partnerships between law enforcement organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- To identify citizen, resident and transnational victims of both sex and labor trafficking.
- To provide comprehensive services to trafficking victims.
- To increase the prosecution of traffickers.
Trafficking Is:The use of force, threat of force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, provide or obtain any person for labor or commercial sex or to cause a person under 18 to engage in a commercial sex act.
Task Force Membership
Membership is open to any D.C. metropolitan area law enforcement agency or non-governmental organization involved in anti-trafficking activities. Below is a list of active members with a link to their website:
D.C. Office of the Attorney General
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Prostitution Enforcement Unit
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Youth Investigations Branch
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Special Liaison Unit (SLU) - The SLU is comprised of the Asian Liaison, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison, Gay and Lesbian Liaison and the Latino Liaison Units
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor 1-866-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force- Contact Jessica Johnson
AyudaAyuda's mission is to protect the rights of low-income immigrants in the DC metropolitan area. We provide multilingual legal and social services for low-income immigrants in the areas of immigration, human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. Our human trafficking program assists immigrant human trafficking survivors with legal and social services. Legal services include immigration representation and advocacy in criminal cases against traffickers. Social services include comprehensive case management to secure emergency and long-term needs and access community resources. We also conducts bilingual community outreach and trainings on human trafficking for service providers, law enforcement and community members.
Global Rescue Relief helps procure basic services for human trafficking victims such as eye glasses and dental work. We also has a professional’s giving network of relevant professionals who are willing to provide pro bono services to human trafficking victims. In addition, we are currently in the process of soliciting in-kind donations for Freedom Packs which will consist of clothing and toiletries made available to first responders for recently rescued victims.
HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) is a harm reduction organization whose mission is to assist male, female and transgender sex workers lead healthier lives. We offer support groups, gender-based goal-setting interventions, HIV prevention and counseling, client advocacy and safer sex and drug use materials. We have an outreach van that tours the city each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, offering supplies, water, conversation, and HIV prevention education. We also staff a 24-hour-hotline, (800) 676-HIPS, where DC based sex workers can call for immediate crises assistance and others can find resources and a non-judgmental, friendly counselor.
Restoration Ministries (RM) is an organization that bases its identity in Christ, focusing on the intimacy of a personal relationship with Jesus to transform lives. From this identity our desire is to develop loving long term relationships with women and girls who have survived sex trafficking and to empower them by providing and advocating for appropriate aftercare services.
RM’s primary focus is the operation of the Prostitution Intervention Prevention Program (PIPP). The PIPP has been successfully run at the local youth detention center in Washington DC since 2006 and was launched at a Washington DC psych hospital in 2010. The PIPP focuses on meeting girls who have been trafficked (or are at high risk for being trafficked), at different institutions in the process of their recovery and advocating for their future. RM is then able to interview and assess the girls who have experienced trafficking and begin providing long term services and support, including mentoring, court advocacy, and collaborating with other social service providers on the long term plan and placement for the girl.
Shared Hope International exists to rescue and restore women and children in crisis. We are leaders in a worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery through education and public awareness. While we work diligently across the world, we have a heavy focus on the USA and the issue of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. We partner with local groups worldwide to help women and children enslaved in the sex trade by providing them with shelter, healthcare, education and vocational training opportunities.
Representative D.C. Prosecutions
On June 1, 2009, Jermaine Moore pled guilty to two –counts of transporting 15 and 17 year-old girls across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. On October 29, 2009, Moore was sentenced to 210 months incarceration.
On September 1, 2009, Shelby Lewis was indicted for prostituting 4 juvenile girls who were 12, 13, 14 and 16 years of age. He faces a maximum of life in prison.
On Dec. 3, 2003, Carlos Curtis was indicted on charges of transporting minors from New York and Maryland to engage in prostitution in Washington, DC. Curtis was indicted for violating numerous federal statutes including sex trafficking of children, transportation of minors, transportation for illegal sexual activity, and materials involving the sexual exploitation of children. Guilty pleas were obtained for associates Michael Goodwin for two counts of Pandering, and Janet Rodriguez for one count of pandering. On July 22, 2004, Goodwin was sentenced to 36 months. On Sept. 6, 2004, Rodriguez was sentenced to 36 months. On July 2, 2004, Curtis was convicted after a two-week trial. On March 27, 2006, Curtis was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Gary Gates and Tamisha Hayward operated an online escort/prostitution business known as “Red Light Special” and “Pandora’s Box.” Clients contacted a telephone number posted on the website to set up dates. Hayward reserved hotel rooms for the girls using Priceline.com. On April 23, 2004, Gates and Hayward were indicted on 13 counts of sex trafficking of children; 11 counts coercion and enticement; 5 counts of transportation of minors; and two counts of transportation for illegal sexual activity. Hayward was also charged with one count of conspiracy. On Sept. 8, 2004, through plea agreements, Gates was sentenced to 178 months and Hayward to 103 months.
Sunni Ham forced two underage girls into prostitution in Washington, DC. He forced them to wear revealing clothing while they performed sex acts for money. On June 12, 2007, Ham was sentenced to 106 months.
If you have any questions about the Task Force, please contact Coordinator, Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Cook. (Jeffrey.Cook@usdoj.gov)
LinksMaryland Human Trafficking Task Force
DC HTTF Web Site Disclaimer Statement
Links to Other Sites
The DC HTTF provides links to other websites as a convenience to its visitors. The inclusion of a link on this website does not constitute an official endorsement, guarantee or approval by the DC HTTF.
The DC HTTF neither endorses, has any responsibility for, nor exercises any control over the member organizations' views or the accuracy of the information on other websites.
Trafficking Victims and Witnesses please contact:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation:
601 4th Street NW
Washington, DC 20535
Phone: (202) 278-2000
Fax: (202) 278-2478
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
SAC Washington, DC
2675 Prosperity Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031
Main (703) 285-6700
Fax (703) 285-6709
Non-Governmental Organization Hotlines:
National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) Multi-Lingual Hotline, Operated by Polaris Project