Skip to main content

Human Rights/Organized Crime

AUSAs in the Human Rights & Organized Crime (HROC) section lead investigations and prosecutions of a wide variety of offenders – from those who sexually exploit children to human traffickers, from those who commit hate crimes to members of law enforcement who use excessive force and from gang members to those who commit immigration crimes.

One of the leading priorities in this section is human trafficking. AUSAs prosecuting these cases work closely with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA), which is a USAO-led task force of federal and state law enforcement and non-governmental victim service organizations which provide services dedicated to rescuing victims of trafficking while prosecuting the traffickers who exploit and abuse victims through commercial sex or labor servitude. For more information, see HTRA.

Child exploitation crimes are another area of focus. HROC prosecutors enforce the federal statutes relating to child pornography and technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes and in doing so, help implement the Attorney General’s national anti-child exploitation crime strategy through Project Safe Childhood.

AUSAs in this section also prosecute criminal violations of federal civil rights laws. These prosecutions include all types of hate crimes, which include acts of physical harm and specific criminal threats motivated by hate based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. Prosecutors also investigate and prosecute those governmental employees who criminally violate a person’s constitutional rights. These cases most often involve law enforcement officers who use excessive force or sexually abuse victims who have been detained.

Additionally, HROC AUSAs coordinate investigations and prosecutions of organized crime groups. Prosecutors use the conspiracy, Hobbes Act and the RICO statutes as well as proactive undercover operations and wire taps, in order to target and disrupt these organizations.

Finally, federal prosecutors in this section also prosecute immigration crimes, including felons who illegally reenter the United States after being previously removed, aliens in possession of firearms, aliens committing marriage and visa fraud and anyone who engages in human smuggling.

Each of the above units within the HROC section rely upon a wide range of investigative agencies including the FBI, HSI, IRS, USPIS, Secret Service, ATF, DEA, State Department-Diplomatic Security Service and a host of local and state agencies.

Updated March 6, 2024