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Tag: sex trafficking

IG Report: FBI Used Provocative Photos of Female Staffers to Lure Predators in Undercover Stings

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

FBI agents posted provocative photos of young female coworkers online to lure predators in sex trafficking investigations, placing them “in danger of becoming the victims of criminal offenses,” according to an Inspector General report.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the agents did not get approval from the employees’ supervisors or written consent from the staffers to post the photos. 

The report also found that the employees were not certified for undercover work. 

Horowitz’s internal investigation was prompted by allegations that an unidentified FBI agent was having an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer, whom the agent asked for “provocative pictures of herself” for the undercover sting.

The FBI said it “fully accepted” the recommendations in the report and that it would create “new language” to address the problems outlined by Horowitz. 

How the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson Factors into Alleged Extortion Plot Involving Rep. Gaetz

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran.

By Steve Neavling

The search for former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran 14 years ago, appears to be at the center of an alleged extortion scheme involving a former federal prosecutor and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

The information came to light earlier this week when The New York Times reported that Gaetz is under investigation for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl.

In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Gaetz claimed former prosecutor David L. McGee, who has been searching for Levinson on behalf of his family, offered to make sex trafficking charges disappear in exchange for money to help in the search for the former FBI agent.

McGee denied wrongdoing, telling the Daily Beast that the extortion allegations are “completely, totally false,” adding, “This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls.”

The whereabouts and fate of Levinson have been speculated about for years. On the 14th anniversary of his disappearance last month, the Biden administration called on Iran to return Levinson to his family and provide answers about what happened to him. 

Levinson, who would be 73, disappeared while on Kish Island, a tourist spot off the coast of Iran. He worked part-time for the CIA, and U.S. officials believed he died while in Iranian custody. 

He was last seen in a 2010 hostage video. 

DOJ Investigating Rep. Gaetz for Alleged Sexual Relationship with Teenage Girl

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is investigating U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times reports

The investigation is trying to determine whether Gaetz, a 38-year-old conservative firebrand and close ally of former President Trump, violated federal sex trafficking laws. The probe began under then-Attorney General William Barr. 

Gaetz denied the allegations on Twitter and in media interviews, saying he and his family “have been victims of an organized and criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.”

“We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,” Gaetz tweeted. The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart the investigation.”

Gaetz repeated his denials on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program, which the host later called “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”

The investigation is part of a broader probe of allegations against Joel Greenberg, a former county official in Florida who was arrested last year on charges of sex trafficking of a minor. 

https://twitter.com/ArtValley818_/status/1377073895421870082

Homeland Security Agents Reportedly Paid for Sex Acts by Trafficking Victims

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Two Homeland Security agents investigating a transnational network of illegal massage parlors engaged in sex acts with the alleged victims in two Arizona cities, according to reports uncovered by Today’s News-Herald.

The reports indicate two agents participated in sex acts at massage parlors at least 10 times with Asian immigrants who were forced into sex slavery.

The two-year trafficking investigation began in 2016, when police were tipped off about several massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City in Arizona. When local police departments found evidence that some of the employees may have been victims of human trafficking, they called in the Department of Homeland Security.

According to investigative reports, the agents negotiated prices for hand jobs and other sex acts.

In September 2018, police arrested eight people on charges of sex trafficking, money laundering, and operating a house of prostitution.

But charges against two of the suspects were dismissed last week because the two federal agents refused to testify.

Homeland Security officials did not respond to questions about why the agents didn’t show up.

One of the women arrested in the case filed a lawsuit 0n Sept. 30 in an attempt to get more information from Homeland Security, including the disclosure of the agents’ identifies and all reports generated during the probe.

4-Day FBI Sweep Rescues 84 Minors, 120 Adults in Sex Trafficking Ring

cyberattack-hackers-fbiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A four-day nationwide sweep aimed combating sex trafficking to the rescue of 84 minors and the arrest of 120 people, according to the FBI.

The 11th annual Operation Cross Country involved 55 FBI field offices, 78 state and local task forces and several international partners.

“The youngest victim recovered during this year’s operation was 3 months old, and the average age of victims recovered during the operation was 15 years old,” the bureau said of the operation, which ran from Oct. 12-15.

The operation is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003 and has led to identifying more than 6,500 child identifications and locations, the FBI said in a press release.

Law Enforcement Busts Sex Traffickers During World Cannabis Week in Colorado

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement noticed last year that sex trafficking operations sprang up around World Cannabis Week in Colorado, where marijuana is now legal.

To curb the trafficking, local, state and federal law enforcement teamed up and arrested nine adults for trafficking and 26 adults for prostitution. The team also recovered five children, the FBI announced Tuesday.

The week began April 18 with large-scale events for tourists.

Of those arrested, 40% said they traveled from out of the state.

“Whenever an event draws people from around the world, you will see an increase in sex trafficking,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “The reality is major events will always have some organized criminal activity, including people who facilitate and profit from prostituting adults and children.”

FBI Plans Soften, Victim-Centric Approach to Cracking Down on Prostitution During Super Bowl

super bowl 50By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is taking a softer approach to cracking down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl.

The Associated Press reports that agents will offer to provide women an opportunity to get out of prostitution and turn in their traffickers.

The softer approach, which focuses on the victim, will take place during the lead-up to the Super Bowl in San Francisco.

“The goal is to reach anyone who is being trafficked,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Doug Hunt, who manages the San Francisco office’s anti-trafficking efforts, which will also include sting operations the agency has used before at previous Super Bowls.

Super Bowls have traditionally attracted sex traffickers.

Sex Trafficker Known As ‘King Kobra’ Sentenced to 262 Months in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Philadelphia man who ran a prostitution business with unsuspecting girls ages 18 and younger was sentenced Monday to 262 months in prison, the FBI announced.

Rahim McIntyre, 35, was convicted on three counts of sex trafficking.

McIntyre, who also is known as King Kobra, was accused of psychologically manipulating girls to get them to do what he wanted.

McIntyre used photographs of the girls in lingerie to advertise them on the Internet.

A jury found McIntyre guilty on April 21.