In Addition To A Host Of Expert Researchers And Field Practitioners, The Conference Featured Presentations By United States Attorneys Paul Perez, Jim Letten, Don DeGabrielle, And Bradley Schlozman. Mr. Schlozman, Formerly Acting Assistant Attorney General

DOJ seal
December 2006


Specialized Anti-Trafficking Unit Launched in Justice Department

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Wan J. Kim have announced the formation of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTP Unit) within the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. The HTP Unit will be the Department’s specialized enforcement unit focused exclusively on combating the crime of human trafficking. The New Unit will enhance the Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute significant human trafficking and slavery cases, including those that cross jurisdictional boundaries and involve complex financial crimes. The Unit will also serve as a resource for training, outreach, and policy development on human trafficking and slavery issues.

As Assistant Attorney General Kim explained, “in recent years, the Department’s anti-trafficking enforcement initiatives have grown exponentially, resulting in record numbers of traffickers convicted and unprecedented numbers of victims rescued and restored. The unique challenges and complexities inherent in successfully prosecuting trafficking cases call for a specialized unit to take the government’s anti-trafficking enforcement efforts to the next level.”

In addition to investigating and prosecuting cases, the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section has guided the development of anti-trafficking policy and trained thousands of prosecutors, law enforcement agents, and non-governmental organizations – both nationally and internationally – on the implementation of a victim-centered, multi-disciplinary approach to prosecuting traffickers and restoring the rights of their victims. “By strategically placing our key players, we will be able to leverage their formidable expertise to add additional momentum to the Department’s anti-trafficking program,” stated Criminal Section Chief Mark Kappelhoff.

Because of the underground nature of slavery and human trafficking crimes, these cases present a host of unique challenges. One of the cutting-edge responses to these challenges is the “victim-centered” approach, which recognizes that empowering victims and restoring their rights is an essential mission of law enforcement, on par with investigating and prosecuting cases. A closely related strategic response is the multi-disciplinary task force model, which builds partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement and non-governmental victim service providers to facilitate a rapid, coordinated response to instances of suspected human trafficking. The Department is currently funding forty-two task forces around the country, many of which have produced impressive results. The new Unit will streamline the Criminal Section’s capacity to investigate and prosecute increasing numbers of slavery and trafficking cases, in partnership with US Attorneys’ Offices nationwide. It also will facilitate the Section’s ongoing coordination of multi-district and multi-national proactive investigation initiatives of increasing complexity, and create a central repository for the expertise, guidance, and resources that Criminal Section prosecutors disseminate to the field through regional, national, and international trainings and task force coordination initiatives.

The HTP Unit, while assuming an independent leadership role in many human trafficking prosecutions and policy matters, will remain an integral part of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, which not only has broad base of seasoned trafficking prosecutors, but also has a depth of experience with the civil rights issues that lie at the heart of slavery and human trafficking. Since the inception of the Civil Rights Division, the Criminal Section has led the fight against crimes that perpetuate a legacy of slavery and servitude. Whether these crimes took the form of lynchings and cross-burnings by night, or compelled servitude and bondage by day, they all entrenched a legacy of oppression against vulnerable members of our society. Modern-day slavery has taken on new forms, and we now have powerful statutes like the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which Congress enacted under its Thirteenth Amendment authority to abolish slavery and involuntary servitude. But the struggle remains the same – to vindicate the rights of marginalized members of our society who would otherwise have no voice, and who would otherwise be denied the guarantees of freedom and liberty that form the core of our Constitution.

In recent years, the Department has convicted record numbers of human traffickers and rescued and restored unprecedented numbers of trafficking victims. This exponential growth in the volume of successful human trafficking investigations and prosecutions can be attributed to a combination of converging factors: the powerful reach of the TVPA, the strength of the multi-disciplinary task force approach, the success of the victim-centered approach in empowering victims to take control of their lives and assist in prosecuting traffickers, and the critical mass of expertise among governmental and non-governmental partners in the fight against trafficking. The launch of the HTP Unit within the Criminal Section will increase the Civil Rights Division’s capacity to respond, ever more efficiently and effectively, to the challenges that lie ahead in the struggle to eradicate human trafficking.

The new Unit will be headed up by nationally recognized anti-trafficking experts. Its Director, Robert Moossy, has been a Deputy Chief in the Criminal Section since 2005, and before that had been a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division, in both the Criminal and Special Litigation Sections, since 1994. Mr. Moossy has prosecuted and supervised a number of high-profile human trafficking cases, including the largest slavery prosecution in U.S. history, U.S. v. Kil Soo Lee, in which over 300 Vietnamese and Chinese workers were enslaved in a garment factory in American Samoa. Mr. Moossy has received the Department’s highest honors for his anti-trafficking prosecutions, including the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Lou de Baca, the Unit’s Chief Counsel, has been a prosecutor in the Criminal Section since 1993 and served as the Civil Rights Division’s Involuntary Servitude and Slavery Coordinator since 1997. Mr. de Baca has prosecuted many of the Department’s notable and historically significant human trafficking cases. Under his leadership, the Department’s human trafficking caseload has seen a ten-fold increase over the past decade. In recognition of his anti-trafficking policy and litigation work, he has received the Department’s highest honors, including the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Excellence in Litigation, and the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys’ Director’s Award. In 2005, in recognition of his role in pioneering the victim-centered approach to combating human trafficking, Mr. DeBaca was named as the recipient of the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Memorial Award for Excellence in Anti-Trafficking Activities.

The HTPU’s leadership team will also include two Special Litigation Counsels. Hilary Axam and Andrew Kline are experienced prosecutors who have investigated and prosecuted some of the most challenging human trafficking cases in the country. They are nationally recognized experts in the field.

Hilary Axam has been a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division since 2001. In her time with the Criminal Section, she has prosecuted a number of significant human trafficking cases, involving forced prostitution, compelled farm and factory labor, and domestic servitude. Her accomplishments include prosecuting one of the first sex trafficking cases ever brought under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, obtaining some of the first forced labor convictions under the TVPA, and securing some of the longest sentences ever imposed in a sex trafficking case. Ms. Axam has coordinated multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions of international trafficking operations, and has been recognized as one of the Department’s leading experts on trafficking law, having trained thousands of prosecutors, federal agents, law enforcement officers, non-governmental organizations, and international delegations on slavery and trafficking laws and investigative and prosecutive strategies. In October 2006, she and the team from U.S. v. Carreto were honored with the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys’ Director’s Award for securing fifty-year sentences against members of a notorious international sex trafficking ring that forced young Mexican women into prostitution.

Andrew Kline, a twelve-year veteran of the Department of Justice, has successfully prosecuted numerous significant cases as an Assistant United States Attorney and as a Trial Attorney in both the Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions. During his tenure in the Civil Rights Division, Mr. Kline has prosecuted numerous human trafficking cases involving forced labor, involuntary servitude, and sex trafficking, and has coordinated some of the largest and most successful investigative operations to rescue sex trafficking victims from international sex trafficking rings. He has taken a leading role in training prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and non-governmental organizations nationwide in investigating and prosecuting large, multi-victim sex trafficking cases. In addition to a law degree, Kline obtained a Masters of Public Administration at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he researched anti-trafficking efforts worldwide.

The HTP Unit leadership will be joined by additional prosecutors, an investigator/analyst, a victim-witness specialist, and support staff. The Unit will work closely with T. March Bell, who has joined the Front Office of the Civil Rights Division as Senior Special Counsel for Trafficking issues. Mr. Bell, a senior executive with extensive experience in criminal litigation, agency management, and policy development, will provide leadership on trafficking policy and program design, coordinating with the HTP Unit on international anti-trafficking initiatives and legislative and policy issues. Mr. Bell has served in a similar role within the Criminal Section since 2003. Before assuming that role, he served as Vice President for an international NGO dedicated to abolishing human trafficking and rescuing and restoring trafficking victims. In previous tours of duty at the Justice Department, Mr. Bell litigated complex organized crime and financial fraud cases as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division and served as General Counsel of the Office of Justice Programs.

Victim/Witness Coordinator Lorna Grenadier is an integral part of the Section’s anti-trafficking team. Nationally recognized as being on the cutting edge of trafficking victims’ protection issues, Ms. Grenadier is the Civil Rights Division’s victim witness coordinator and has experience in the investigation, prosecution, and enforcement of both criminal and civil matters. She has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice since 1972, having also served in the Criminal Division and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. Since October 2000, her activities have been substantially devoted to implementing the victim provisions of the TVPA. In addition to ensuring an effective victim/witness response on cases under investigation and in prosecutive stages, Ms. Grenadier has developed policies and procedures for victim care, spoken at numerous conferences and training courses, consulted with foreign governments overseas, and met with numerous international government officials and NGOs to disseminate the US approach to victim protection.

Heather N. Brown-Coward is the Unit’s Intake Coordinator, and has for the past four years managed the operations of the Trafficking in Persons/Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line. She is the primary contact for trafficking complaints and inquiries that lead to investigations and prosecutions in the Section. In 2003, for her efforts in pursuing a lead concerning an Eritrean domestic servant held in bondage, Ms. Brown-Coward the “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” award. Ms. Brown received a B.S. in Mass Communications from Norfolk State University and attends The University of the District of Columbia, where she is completing a Masters' Degree in Public Administration. She is also a charter member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Tau Delta Zeta chapter in Laurel, Maryland, and has been able to get Human Trafficking adopted as a public service project by this national sorority.

Justice Department Convenes Second National Anti-Trafficking Conference: Attorney General Reaffirms Combating Human Trafficking as a National Priority and announces Funding of Additional Task Forces

On October 3-5, 2006, the Department of Justice hosted the second National Conference on Human Trafficking in New Orleans, LA. The conference brought together a packed house of over 600 participants from diverse backgrounds, including federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, victim advocates, prosecutors, academics, and non-governmental victim service providers, to discuss complex issues surrounding human trafficking, and to collaborate on strategies to combat slavery and human trafficking more effectively. The anti-trafficking task forces operating around the nation played a prominent role in the conference, and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales took the opportunity to announce another round of task force grants, bringing the total of DOJ-funded task forces to forty-two nationwide.

While citing recent victories, including the conviction of over 200 traffickers and the restoration of over 1,500 victims in recent years, the Attorney General called for a renewed and lasting commitment to the fight against modern-day slavery, emphasizing the need for increased cooperation among task force members and between the anti-trafficking task forces and the Innocence Lost initiative against child sexual exploitation. Noting that the Thirteenth Amendment stands as “a lasting promise of freedom,” the Attorney General called upon participants to “make the dream of freedom a reality for these victims, not just a promise.” A copy of the Attorney General’s remarks can be found at

In addition to formal presentations and panel discussions, the conference provided opportunities for coalition-building, strategic planning, and the peer-to-peer exchange of expertise among task force members. "This conference provided an unusual and welcome chance for in-person dialogue among the groups that are on the front lines," remarked Bradley Myles, National Program Director of The Polaris Project and an active member of the D.C. task force. "When we do collaborate with other cities, it is often reactive and under the pressure of a breaking case," Myles explained. "It was exciting to have a venue to begin to establish stronger linkages between and among the task forces, to reflect on the broader challenges we all face across the country, and to learn what strategies are working and not working for other task forces."

In addition to formal presentations and panel discussions, the conference provided opportunities for coalition-building, strategic planning, and the peer-to-peer exchange of expertise among task force members. "This conference provided an unusual and welcome chance for in-person dialogue among the groups that are on the front lines," remarked Bradley Myles, National Program Director of The Polaris Project and an active member of the D.C. task force. "When we do collaborate with other cities, it is often reactive and under the pressure of a breaking case," Myles explained. "It was exciting to have a venue to begin to establish stronger linkages between and among the task forces, to reflect on the broader challenges we all face across the country, and to learn what strategies are working and not working for other task forces."

More coverage of the National Conference, including presentations and panels, will appear in the next issue of the Anti-Trafficking Newsletter.

International Highlights

The Civil Rights Division has continued its international activities. Senior Special Counsel March Bell has been active on the international front. Mr. Bell’s activities in Africa will bear dividends in 2007, as training programs follow in the wake of Mr. Bell’s assessment activities in Tanzania under the President’s Initiative to Combat Trafficking & Sex Tourism (POTUS Initiative). Mr. Bell played a key role in a working group on forced labor hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as Europe works to respond to forced labor as aggressively as they have confronted sex trafficking. European attention has suddenly focused on forced labor because of a recent case in Italy that is eerily reminiscent of the farm labor cases that are prosecuted by the Division. In the Italian case, a group of tomato pickers from Poland were enslaved in migrant camps and forced to work through beatings and threats, resulting in the death of several workers. Mr. Bell was able to share with the European participants how a seamless anti-trafficking strategy should mobilize law enforcement and civil society to address compelled service in all sectors, whether in commercial sexual activity or otherwise valid forms of labor. In addition, Mr. Bell and U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman of the Western District of Missouri undertook a week of consultation with German anti-trafficking officials. In those meetings, Schlozman and Bell were able to convince the Germans of the wisdom of an American immigration program styled on the T-Visa, which will allow victims to remain in Germany even after court proceedings are done. At the conclusion of their meetings, the German government publicly announced its intent to promulgate a long-term immigration solution. This is one of the first instances in which a destination country has adopted the American model, which is focused not solely on using the victim as a witness in prosecutions, but also on providing long-term restorative opportunities. .

In Mexico, as part of the POTUS Initiative, HTP Unit Chief Counsel Lou de Baca has been working with the anti-trafficking team at the US Embassy (which includes ICE, USAID, and State Department staff) to provide technical assistance to Mexican partners such as the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Preventive Police, and the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic. Mexican counterparts have joined CRT and trafficking task forces in Houston and for the National Conference in New Orleans. In October, 2006, at the United Nations Transnational Organized Crime Convention Conference of the Parties in Vienna, Austria, as part of the countries’ official presentations, de Baca and his Mexican counterparts highlighted this bilateral partnership and Mexico’s desire to adopt a victim-centered approach and a comprehensive anti-trafficking federal statute.

Trial Attorney Allison Jernow, who successfully prosecuted United States v. Garcia (in which the constitutionality of the TVPA was first upheld) was the moderator of a panel discussion of human trafficking at the OSCE's annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), a ten-day human rights conference held annually in Warsaw. The panel focused on the identification and protection of trafficking victims. Also on the panel were Heidi de Pauw, who is the director of a state-recognized shelter for trafficking victims in Belgium, and Ion Vizdoaga, who is the head of the Moldovan Center for the Prevention of Trafficking in Women. At the conference, Jernow participated in a second HDIM panel, on labor exploitation. Her fellow panelists included members of the Polish and Italian governments. The audience for both events were delegates from state parties to the OSCE as well as anti-trafficking NGOs.

Starting a Task Force With No Money Down by Bradley Schlozman, U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri --
New Orleans, October 2006 (as prepared)

Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be with all of you. When I saw the working title of my speech this morning — “starting a task force with no money down” — at first I felt like I had been put in the role of a huckster, selling snake oil and other dubious potions. I guess for a litigator like myself, that’s actually an honor. But seriously, the fact is that the task force model has consistently proven itself to be the most effective method for combating the scourge of human trafficking here in the United States.

And the fact that we are here today talking not just about the strategies for developing these task forces, but the operational aspects that have met with the greatest degree of success, really underscores emphatically just how far we’ve come in the last 5-6 years. It seems like only yesterday that the overwhelming majority of speeches at these conferences were filled primarily with rhetoric and platitudes regarding the evils of trafficking, but were largely silent on the specifics of how to tackle the issue. My hat goes off to the leadership at the Justice Department for the truly extraordinary evolution they have fostered in this area.

Now lest I be accused of hypocrisy, let me dispatch with my own rhetoric and focus on what we’re all here to talk about this morning. When I arrived in Kansas City six months ago, human trafficking wasn’t even on the radar. The citizens of my District are bright and sophisticated — for the most part, and with a number of very notable exceptions — but few imagined that the kinds of venality and abuse seen in our modern slavery cases could possibly exist in the center of America’s heartland. Yet having seen it virtually everywhere else I have traveled — both domestically and internationally — I knew it had to exist within the confines of my District. After all, human trafficking knows no boundaries and seems to rear its ugly head whenever and wherever there is a demand for labor and a market for sexual exploitation.

One of the first things I did upon getting to town was to meet with all of the local law enforcement agencies. Although we obviously have an array of criminal justice priorities in the district — from terrorism and narcotics to fraud and public corruption — I asked each of these officials whether they thought any individuals were being trafficked in the area. Nearly all said “no,” and most in fact were entirely unfamiliar with the federal statutes prohibiting this criminal activity. The same was true of several NGOs I met with.

Yet when I explained the elements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and outlined the facts of some of the cases we prosecuted during my tenure in the Civil Rights Division, most of the individuals with whom I spoke said, “you know what, I think I have seen some of that here.” And the rest at least indicated their willingness to look much closer than they had before. They just needed to be disabused of their assumptions that this phenomenon could not exist in our fair city.

So we set out to educate the community — both law enforcement and the private sector — about the nature of trafficking and the impact on the lives of victims. In Kansas City, we don’t have near the number of NGOs of other big cities, and we certainly don’t have any organizations — as far as I can tell anyway — that are focused on this issue like so many of the wonderful groups in attendance today. In fact, amusingly, I will tell you that according to a Kansas City Star article from a couple of weeks ago, the top criminal issue in the minds of most Kansas Citians is “speeding.”

But once we undertook a fairly robust outreach campaign, getting folks’ attention was frankly not altogether difficult. The first thing we did was to organize a major training. Now if any of you are going to form human trafficking task forces in your district, knowing how labor and resource intensive these cases can be, you are going to have to have an extraordinarily energetic and devoted group of prosecutors and staff behind you. These cases seem to present virtually every roadblock known to law enforcement — defiant defendants, recalcitrant witnesses, translation difficulties, immigration thickets, dubious jurists, and the unfortunate but inevitable need to sleep for at least a few hours a night. What you need is a superhero. Or better yet, multiple superheroes.

Luckily enough, I happened to have inherited several in the Western District of Missouri. The AUSA who has spearheaded our anti-trafficking initiative, Cynthia Phillips, has been a godsend. She has logged obscene hours in helping put our task force together and in pursuing these cases. I hope you’ll all get a chance to meet her. Meanwhile, my law enforcement coordinator, Les Kerr, and my acting victim/witness coordinator, Tina Sutter, have been absolutely instrumental in making our investigative and prosecutorial efforts a success.

Now I mention the selfless dedication of these individuals not just to give them public praise — which of course they richly deserve — but also to point out why, at least in part, we have been getting a decent number of prosecution referrals in our district. (In just 4 months, we have indicted 2 cases and have several other matters that we’re likely to indict in the coming months).

Specifically, the attorneys and staff in my office have developed such an outstanding professional relationship with the local law enforcement agencies that referrals are coming directly to my office instead of being filtered through a federal investigative agency. Now don’t get me wrong — the FBI, ICE, and the Department of Labor have all been terrific partners. But when a prosecutor hears about a case directly from the officer walking the beat or working with the vice squad — there is an opportunity to get facts in real time, shape an investigation, and greatly expedite the ultimate referral process.

Now this approach might not work in every district. I don’t think you can have a cookie cutter design to these task forces. Personalities and local flavors often dictate. In Kansas City, we happen to be very lucky in that the level of turf consciousness is not near what it is elsewhere throughout the country. I don’t mean to suggest we hold hands each morning and sing Kumbaya, but egos very rarely get in the way. Or perhaps to put it more precisely, in Kansas City, egos can be handled with a quick neck rub, instead of a deep tissue massage. The point is that having local law enforcement agents truly engaged in this initiative is essential. After all, we have a very finite number of federal agents and their time and resource commitments are often stretched to the limit on other priorities. It is thus state and local law enforcement who are the real foot soldiers in our crusade to combat human trafficking.

This is not to say that we don’t rely heavily on our federal law enforcement partners. Indeed, the federal investigative agencies are vital, and we bring them in on nearly every case. But avoiding the middleman allows us to prioritize what cases will be brought and when they will be commenced.

At this point, let me say a few additional things about turf battles. I have a good relationship — or at least I like to think I do — with my law enforcement agency colleagues at both the federal, state, and local levels. But all too often while I served in the Civil Rights Division, I witnessed petty turf battles in certain cities degrade otherwise good cases. Now I know it can be difficult. And these turf wars don’t seem petty to those of you in the trenches who feel your rightful jurisdiction is being encroached upon unfairly by some sister agency. But folks, you simply have to get along. I can recall one case where two highly seasoned veterans from different agencies were going at each other with such vigor that I felt like I was in the middle of a TV episode of the “Golden Girls.” The idea that this fight had to be refereed from Washington was ludicrous. And while we fight, it is the victims who suffer and the traffickers who win.

In my own District, I have found that we can cut through much of the potential interagency skirmishes by having the prosecutor help with the assignments early on in the case. (Again, this is another advantage to early involvement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.) Assignments are delegated clearly and fairly — I hope — and agents are tasked with handling issues that fall within their area of expertise. With everyone staying in their respective lanes, mutual respect is also much easier to achieve and maintain. Whether this will work in your districts will, again, depend on personalities. But it has proven successful so far in Kansas City.

Human trafficking cases are simply too difficult as it is to investigate and prosecute without the added burdens of internecine warfare. There is plenty of work and credit to go around. I preach this lesson today, and will continue to do so every time I speak on this issue. Cooperation and collaboration are the hallmarks of human trafficking investigations. These cases cannot succeed without such coordination.

Another important component of our task force — as it is with every task force — is our relationship with local service providers. Unless you’ve handled some of these cases, you have no idea just how chaotic it can be trying to find shelter for a victim — particularly a male victim — especially when it’s late at night or on a weekend and your administrative staff with control of the pursestrings is nowhere to be found. Nor can you truly comprehend the agony a prosecutor goes through in trying to secure a translator who doesn’t just speak the language, but understands the obscure dialect of a victim who harkens from somewhere few of us knew even existed on a map. That’s not where a prosecutor’s expertise is. He/she is a criminal litigator, not a social worker.

Yet trafficking cases, as you all know, cry out for these services. And it is the NGOs in the community who are really best served to provide such care. Developing these relationships is essential. It will take time. But it’s worth it. Identify the translation services in your community. Are there local law enforcement officials who are multi-lingual? When a victim comes in off the street and is ready to talk, you don’t want to have to scramble around or utilize the phone translation service if you can help it. After all, getting a translator with whom the victim can develop a good rapport can be the difference between a good case and no case at all.

Finally, I’d like to put in a shameless plug for my former colleagues at the Civil Rights Division. When it comes to handling human trafficking cases, the attorneys and staff in the Civil Rights Division are indisputably the best in the country (if not the world). They have handled literally hundreds of these cases and now maintain a reservoir of the best, and most refined, strategies for investigating and prosecuting these cases. I continue to rely on the Civil Rights Division heavily in my new role as U.S. Attorney, and any U.S. Attorney who does not do the same does a real disservice to his/her case.

Let me just say in conclusion that human trafficking cases can be terribly frustrating — even exasperating — to investigate and prosecute. Every obstacle that a law enforcement officer or prosecutor can encounter in his/her work seems to pop up in these cases. But with an abundance of energy, some good luck, a few breaks, and God’s provident hand, there can be justice for the heartless criminals who commit these crimes, and mercy and redemption for the suffering victims.

Thank you for sharing part of your day with me.


*An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants in the cases cited in this newsletter in which convictions have not been obtained are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

United States v. Calimlim (E.D. WI)

On November 16, in United States v. Calimlim (E.D.WI), defendants Jefferson Calimlim and Elnora Calimlim, affluent doctors in Milwaukee, were sentenced to 48 months in prison for their conviction on charges of violating one count of 18 U.S.C. §371 (conspiracy to commit forced labor), one count of 18 U.S.C. §1589 (forced labor), one count of 18 U.S.C. §1594 (attempted forced labor) and one count of 8 U.S.C. §1324 (harboring an undocumented alien). Additionally, their son, Jefferson M. Calimlim, was sentenced to 120 days of home confinement, three years supervised release and a $5,000 fine for his conviction on charges of illegally harboring the victim in violation one count of 8 U.S.C. §1324. Beginning in 1984, the defendants coerced a thirty-eight-year-old Filippina into providing domestic labor and services for them. The defendants told the victim that she would be imprisoned if she left their service and used a variety of other coercive means to break her will, including forbidding her from having social contacts, monitoring and limiting her mail, forbidding her use of the telephone and requiring her to hide in her basement room when guests were in the house.

United States v. Kang, et al. (E.D. N.Y.)

On November 15, in United States v. Kang, et al. (E.D.N.Y.), defendant Nisim Yushuvayev, an Immigration Inspector with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. Previously, co-defendants Wun Kang and Kyongya Kang, a Korean couple, were sentenced to 120 and 121 months in prison, respectively. A total of seven defendants, including defendant Yushuvayev, the Kangs, their son, and a federal air marshal previously entered guilty pleas for their involvement in a scheme to lure Korean women to New York City with promises of good jobs as hostesses in their nightclub, only to enslave them in the bar on their arrival. Once in the United States, the women were subjected to rapes and physical abuse, held for repayment of a $10,000 debt, and the subjects attempted to force them to engage in prostitution. Agent Yushuvayev was convicted of Conspiracy Against Civil Rights (18 U.S.C. §241) for using his authority to try to put one of the hostesses on an airplane out of the country in a false “deportation” to prevent her from testifying against the Kangs.

United States v. Telichenko (M.D. Fla.)

On October 31, in United States v. Telichenko (M.D. Fla.), defendant Yelena Aleksandrovna Telichenko, a Ukranian national, pled guilty to a violation of 18 U.S.C. §1589 (forced labor) for holding a Russian woman in servitude. The two met in Philadelphia, where the defendant persuaded the victim to move Orlando. Shortly after arriving in Florida, defendant Telichenko forced the young woman to serve as a mistress for a series of men so as to get them to support the two women through gifts. If the victim objected in any way, Telechinko repeatedly and brutally beat her. Sentencing is pending; Yelena Telichenko faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution payments.

United States v. Jado (E.D. Mich.)

On October 26, in United States v. Jado (E.D. Mich.), defendant Duay Jado was sentenced to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay $7,800 restitution after pleading guilty to violating one count of 18 U.S.C. §1952 (interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprise). In May 2004, Jado traveled from the Chicago area to firebomb a car that belonged to the sister of a Russian exotic dancer who had fled the service of his associates Aleksandr Maksimenko and Michael Aronov. The car was burned as punishment and as a warning to other women who might try to leave the defendants. Maksimenko and Aronov, operating as “Beauty Search, Inc.”, used threats and force to hold Ukranian, Russian, and Czech women in servitude as dancers in strip clubs in the Detroit area. Previously, defendant Maksimenko entered a guilty plea to violating 18 U.S.C. §241 (servitude conspiracy), 8 U.S.C. §1324 (immigration conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. §1956 (money laundering), and defendant Michail Aronov pled guilty to conspiring with others to compel Eastern Europeans to serve as exotic dancers through forced labor, trafficking, document servitude and obstruction in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§1589, 1590, 1592, and 1519. Aronov also pled guilty to conspiring to illegally recruit, transport and harbor the women (8 U.S.C. §1324) as well as to launder the proceeds of the compelled servitude and immigration crimes (18 U.S.C. §§1956 and 1957). Five other defendants pled guilty to assisting Maksimenko and Aronov in their scheme. Further sentencings are pending.

United States v. Chang (N.D. Tex.)

On October 18, in United States v. Chang (N.D. Tex.), defendant Sung Bum Chang was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $37,000 restitution. On June 12, defendant Sun Bum Chang entered a guilty plea to violating 18 U.S.C. §371 (conspiracy to hold in forced labor), 18 U.S.C. §1589 (forced labor) and asset forfeiture, and defendant Hyuang Kyung Chang entered a guilty plea to violating 8 U.S.C. §1324a(a)(1)(A), (a)(2), (f)(1) and 18 U.S.C. §2, (aiding and abetting the employment of unauthorized aliens). Defendant Hyuang Kyung Chang will be sentenced at a later date. The defendants smuggled Korean women into the country and forced them to work as hostesses in their night club against their will. The defendants used various methods to control the women, including document confiscation, debt obligation, isolation techniques and constant surveillance. Their scheme was disrupted when one of the women escaped from a second story window and sought help from a Good Samaritan.

United States v. Paoletti-Lemus, et al. (E.D. N.Y.)

On September 27, in United States v. Paoletti-Lemus, et al. (E.D.N.Y.), defendants Renato Paoletti-Lemus and Jose Paoletti-Moreda were sentenced to 105 months in prison for their guilty pleas to violating 18 U.S.C. §1951 (Extortion), for forcing dozens of deaf Mexicans to sell trinkets on the subways nearly ten years ago. The defendants were extradited to the United States following incarceration in Mexico for their role in this case. Previously, eighteen of their co-defendants pled guilty to recruiting and smuggling approximately sixty Mexican aliens, who were both deaf and unable to speak, to the United States with the promises of good jobs and for the purpose of exploiting and abusing them for profit. The Mexican aliens were forced to work under conditions of servitude peddling key chain trinkets on the streets and subways of New York City. Seventeen defendants were sentenced to terms of incarceration ranging from 11 to 168 months and one defendant was sentenced to 5 years probation.

United States v. Ennassime (W.D. Wash.)

On September 7, in United States v. Ennassime (W.D. Wash.), defendant Abdenasser Ennassime entered a guilty plea to violating 18 U.S.C. §1589 (forced labor) and defendant Tonya Ennassime pled guilty to violating 8 U.S.C. §1324 (concealing and harboring an alien). The defendants held their niece, who came to Washington from Morocco to get a good education, as a slave. In exchange for lodging and the chance for a good education, the victim cared for the defendants’ young son, prepared breakfast and dinner, performed household cleaning chores and worked weekends and summers without pay at the defendant’s espresso stand. When the defendants learned of the victim’s complaints of mistreatment, defendant Abdenasser Ennassime assaulted her, threatened to report her illegal status in the United States, withdrew her from school and forced her to work longer hours at the espresso stand, without pay. Sentencing is scheduled for December 2006.

United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division

Updated August 6, 2015

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