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DEPARTMENTS OF JUSTICE, HOMELAND SECURITY AND LABOR ANNOUNCE SELECTION OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING COORDINATION TEAMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2011

Southern District of Florida Selected as One of Six Pilot Teams Nationwide

The Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor announced today the selection of Pilot Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams (ACTeams) as part of a nationwide Human Trafficking Enhanced Enforcement Initiative designed to streamline federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses.

The Phase I Pilot ACTeams will be based in Miami, Fl; Atlanta, Ga; El Paso, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles, Ca; and Memphis, Tenn., under the leadership of the respective U.S. Attorneys and the highest-ranking federal investigative agents from the relevant regional FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Labor field offices.

The announcement today follows the conclusion of a competitive, interagency selection process led by the Federal Enforcement Working Group, a collaboration of the Justice Department’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, and FBI; the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit; and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Office of the Inspector General.

On Feb. 1, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis jointly announced the launch of the ACTeam Initiative and the commencement of the competitive interagency selection process. Each ACTeam, which is comprised of federal prosecutors and federal agents from the participating federal enforcement agencies, will implement a law enforcement strategic action plan to combat identified human trafficking threats. The ACTeams will focus on developing federal criminal human trafficking investigations and prosecutions to protect the rights of human trafficking victims, bring traffickers to justice and dismantle human trafficking networks.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, stated, “Human trafficking is modern day slavery. The fight against human trafficking is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and for my office in particular. I am pleased to have been among the few selected to participate in this pilot program. We stand ready to roll-up our sleeves, in collaboration with federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies, and other governmental and non-governmental partners, to further enhance our anti-trafficking efforts.”

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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