Dallas News April 20, 2014 by Kevin Krause
When hordes of college hoops fans descended on North Texas for the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, they were joined by another more sinister group: people trafficking in child prostitution.
An FBI task force that included Dallas police said it arrested four pimps, 18 “johns,” and three people who solicited children for sex trafficking on the Internet in a four-day crackdown during the tournament two weeks ago. Also, five children were discovered and rescued, which is a top goal of such operations.
Note the mention of the FBI. It is well known that ICE SVU is seeking to supplant the FBI as the premier federal law enforcement agency not enforcing immigration laws. And child sex crimes is one of the areas that ICE SVU is challenging the FBI for supremacy. The FBI is the Federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing child pornography laws, the Lindbergh Act, and the Mann Act. The Department of Justice and the FBI fund and lead most Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces, however, ICE SVU wants in on that action. And it has plenty of resources as it has abandoned immigration law enforcement.
“There’s going to be probably a lot of men at a sporting event coming to a specific location who will be alone with money, partying,” said Shawn McGraw, a supervisor with Homeland Security Investigations in Dallas. “We feel that increases our opportunities to identify minors who may be exploited by adult males.”
Unfortunately for ICE SVU, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) is on the case, and they have found little sex trafficking at all and no increase due to the Final Four.
But some say crime statistics don’t substantiate concerns that large sporting events breed child sex trafficking.
When the Super Bowl came to North Texas in 2011, police did not report a big spike in either adult or child prostitution cases, perhaps due in part to the icy and cold weather conditions. But one of the people they did arrest was a felon from Austin who forced a 14-year-old girl and her adult sister to come work as prostitutes in Dallas because “there was big money to be made,” authorities said.
Sgt. Byron Fassett of the Dallas Police Department’s child exploitation squad said some child advocacy groups may exaggerate claims of sex trafficking during sporting events to try to bring attention to the problem. He said although the number of sex ads increases during such events, he hasn’t seen evidence of large numbers of children being trafficked for sex.
And he said his unit doesn’t conduct enforcement operations just when a big event hits town.
“We work on it on a daily basis,” Fassett said. “It’s happening 365 days a year.”
The goal is to find potential victims, get them off the streets and give them the social services they need, Fassett said.
Well, it seems that prostitution and sex trafficking are best addressed and are being addressed by local law enforcement agencies. It appears that there is no need for ICE SVU to abandon immigration law enforcement.
In the past, police primarily discovered child prostitutes during vice arrests. Fassett says his first goal is to make contact with prostitutes by calling phone numbers listed in Internet sex ads.
“We’re just leveraging the technology like everybody else does,” he said. “We’re taking their techniques and tools and using it against them.”
If the girls are under 18, police will move quickly to rescue them. Then officers can go after their pimps who have been trafficking them, Fassett said.
Fassett said he wants to give the women the “opportunity to get out” rather than arresting them on prostitution charges.
Women? Under 18? Opportunity to get out? Well that tells me that this is not about children, but about teen-aged prostitutes who clearly are emancipated in the sense that they are close to 18 and not looking to get back home, but make a quick buck. If the prostitutes were children, they would not need an "opportunity" to get out, they would be seized by the police and turned over to Child Protective Services. It also appears that the crime is home-grown and not the result of some international conspiracy to bring teen-aged prostitutes to America. Note also that Sgt. Fassett did not say that these girls were trafficked from out of the United States. Clearly these are all local girls. No customs or immigration violation for ICE SVU to investigate.
It appears that since the DPD and other police departments are dealing with teen-aged prostitutes, not child prostitutes, on a daily basis and that the problem is well in had and not in need of abandoning immigration law enforcement for a crime being dealt with by local police departments. Clearly, the chimera of sex trafficking was created out of whole cloth to justify ending immigration law enforcement activity by ICE SVU.