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Aug. 23, 2010


(HOUSTON) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) will be sponsoring Human Trafficking Training Conferences to be held in Laredo, Texas, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010, and in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010, United States Attorney Angel Moreno announced today. 

The conference will offer registered attendees – federal, state and local law enforcement, state and federal prosecutors, non-governmental service providers and immigrant group representatives drawn from South Texas and the Rio Grande area – an overview of the human trafficking problem, instruction regarding the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases including how to identify such cases and how to both communicate with and deal with the victims of these crimes.   

Assistant United States Attorneys Edward Gallagher and Ruben Perez, the coordinator and co-coordinator of the HTRA, will be joined by local and federal experts involved in the investigation and  prosecution of human trafficking cases in the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) and governmental victim/witness specialists and non-governmental victim’s service organization representatives as instructors for the conference. In addition to its headquarters office in Houston, the SDTX has offices in Victoria, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo.  

The intensified campaign against human trafficking follows the first national Human Trafficking conference hosted by the Department of Justice in Tampa, Florida, in July 2004, during which former President George W. Bush urged the diverse audience of law enforcement officials and members of non-governmental organizations to form alliances to combat the fastest growing form of organized crime in the world today.  Human trafficking crimes are particularly difficult to detect, and coordination with non-governmental groups is vital to uncovering trafficking operations and helping the victims.

The HTRA was formed by the United States Attorney’s office in Houston as part of a broader effort by the Department of Justice to concentrate resources from its Civil Rights Division, our own office, federal, state law and local enforcement agencies and non-governmental service organizations to target human traffickers while providing necessary services to those victimized by the traffickers.

The Houston HTRA was the 5th of 42 such formed organizations and the first of its kind in Texas. The mission of the HTRA is to foster the collaboration of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with area social service organizations to identify and assist the victims of human trafficking and to effectively identify, apprehend and prosecute those engaged in trafficking offenses.



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