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Press Release

During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, United States Attorney’s Office Works to Raise Awareness of the Cruel Practice that Exploits the Most Vulnerable Members of Society

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

            LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker marked January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by renewing the commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office to combat all forms of human trafficking and to engage all of our diverse communities to raise awareness about the inhumane practice.

            “Those who engage in any form of human trafficking are exploiting the most vulnerable among us by inducing or forcing their victims to engage in commercial sex or by subjecting them to forced labor,” United States Attorney Decker said.

            Human trafficking takes many forms, but generally targets the most vulnerable in our society – our children, those who suffered past abuse, people with physical or mental disabilities, the poor and those without legal immigration status. 

            The United States Attorney’s Office and its federal, state, local, and tribal partners are working diligently to identify and support victims – and to bring their abusers to justice. Authorities are working to bring freedom to all victims of human trafficking – whether they are adults or children; male, female, or transgender individuals; citizens or noncitizens – regardless of the trafficking they endured.

            Anti-trafficking efforts have been bolstered with the recent establishment of the multi-agency Los Angeles Human Trafficking Task Force, which is being jointly led by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  The Task Force was established in September 2015 as the result of $1.5 million grant from the Department of Justice (see: This partnership will enhance coordination and collaboration between agencies and will expand the capacity to provide comprehensive services to victims.

            The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting individuals who prey upon trafficking victims. Among the criminal cases recently in federal court:

•           a Long Beach man received a 20-year federal prison sentence last year for running a sex trafficking operation that victimized young women (see:;

•           A former special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations pleaded guilty in December to accepting a bribe from a man being investigated for human trafficking (see:;

•           a mother and son team pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges last year and admitted to trafficking in minors and young women in California and Nevada (see:;

•           a South Bay man was sentenced to nearly five years in prison for lying to federal investigators about hiring a minor for commercial sex in the first federal prosecution in the Los Angeles-area of a “john” in a teen human trafficking investigation (see:; and

•           a trial began this week in the case of a man charged with travelling to Cambodia to have sex with children.

            For more information on human trafficking and victim services, including a recently released video series and resource guide to raise awareness about the many forms of human trafficking in the United States, please visit the website of the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime website – Materials are available in Spanish, Thai, Hindi and Tagalog.

            President Obama issued a proclamation on New Year’s Eve that designated January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (see: The President called upon all Americans to play a role to end all forms of human trafficking, and he pledged that the United States will continue to lead the effort to root out human trafficking around the world.

            To report suspected human trafficking, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area or find anti-trafficking resources, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888,, or The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, in more than 200 languages.

Updated January 28, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-013