Crime Data

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public at large seeking information on crime in the nation. The program was conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet the need for reliable uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics.  In 2013 the Wilberforce Law added Human Trafficking Data.

Today, four annual publications, Crime in the United States, National Incident-Based Reporting System, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crime Statistics are produced from data received from over 18,000 city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. The crime data are submitted either through a state UCR Program or directly to the FBI’s UCR Program.

In addition to these reports, information is available on the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program and the Hate Crime Statistics Program, as well as the traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

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Colorado Human Trafficking Council Vacancies

Council Vacancies
Leaders wanted to end human trafficking!

The Colorado Human Trafficking Council is a statewide, legislatively established body that represents a wide-range of sectors, disciplines, and perspectives. The Council strives to build and enhance collaboration among communities, improve comprehensive services for victims and survivors of human trafficking, to assist in the successful prosecution of human traffickers, and to help prevent human trafficking in Colorado.

There are currently three vacant seats on the Council that cover the following roles:

  • A “representative of a regional or city-wide human trafficking coalition,”
  • A “representative of an organization that provides direct services to victims of human trafficking,”
  • A “representative of a “non-profit organization that facilitates the treatment or housing of human trafficking victims.”

If you or someone you know is appropriate for these vacancies, visit the Council Vacancies page for further information on how to apply.

Beth Klein Boulder Texas Law Potential Life Sentence for Trafficker

For the first time, a Texas law that Beth Klein Boulder Attorney helped pass in 2011 may be used to land a trafficker in prison for life.

A Houston man was charged Friday with human trafficking for allegedly leading a prostitution ring, forcing women into sexual slavery through beatings and threats to their lives, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Anthony Gardner, 27, is believed to be the first person charged by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office with the crime of “continuing trafficking of persons.” He also faces one charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution and two counts of compelling prostitution by force, authorities said.

The Texas Legislature created the trafficking criminal charge in 2011 so that a person can be charged if they use force, fraud or coercion to cause someone to engage in a sexual act on two or more occasions for 30 days or longer.

JoAnne Musick, sex crimes chief for the DA’s office, said she’s been unable to identify anyone charged with the crime in Texas. She said charging someone with the crime is rare because it’s hard for investigators to catch them.

“I am thrilled that a law we helped pass with Senator Leticia Van De Putte is being put to use” Beth Klein said. “I look forward to monitoring the trial, and I hope that the prosecution is successful.”

Gardner forced eight women, including two minors, to work for him on Houston streets since November 2014. Houston police collected evidence through a monthslong investigation that included interviewing women Gardner hired to commit sexual acts, which eventually led to them tracking him down and arresting him in January 2017. Houston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit worked in collaboration with the Harris County District Attorney’s newly formed Sex Crimes Division.

“Sex trafficking in Houston is an epidemic. Our new Sex Crimes Division is making prosecution of traffickers like Anthony Gardner a priority,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “Gardner posed a real-time threat to the women he has trafficked and abused, but the tables have turned.”

Police identified one woman in June 2015 after an officer with HPD Vice Division contacted her based on an advertisement from BackPage.com, according to court documents. The then 17-year-old agreed to meet the undercover officers at a place at 2400 West South Loop to engage in a sexual act for $300.

She drove a vehicle registered by the defendant to the location. The woman called Gardner after being arrested on a phone number police recognized and said, “They got me, I’m going to jail.” She also referred to him as “Trouble,” which police knew as the defendant’s nickname.

The women working for the defendant allegedly had to make at least $1,000 a day by performing sexual acts. If not, they would face violent punishment.

One woman “A.L.,” who worked for Gardner shortly after turning 17, told police she had a child by him, according to court documents. She said that he would tell her how much to charge for sex acts, buy her hotel rooms to work out of and instructed all the money she made should be given to him.

A.L. also said a few weeks after Thanksgiving 2014 the defendant became physical with her and “backed her up against the wall, grabbed her by the throat, and started to choke her.” One woman also working for Gardner told police that he hit her so hard she chipped a tooth.

Musick said the District Attorney’s Office has made it a priority to track down criminals like Gardner.

“With human trafficking so prolific in Houston, it’s impossible to estimate how many people might fall into this position,” she said. “We anticipate that it’s a significant number of people. It’s very eye-opening just how much of this is going on in our own backyard.”

The defendant faces five years to life in prison for the charge of aggravated promotion of prosecution. He also faces up to 20 years for each count of compelling prostitution by force. His “continuous trafficking of persons” charge holds a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

“With the new laws, I encourage any man or woman who’s being victimized to reach out to law enforcement for help.”  Klein said.  “We want this crime to end for all time.”

Resources for Colorado Victims

FRAC Minutes

FRAC Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I. Welcome/Introductions, Human Trafficking Program Manager, Maria Trujillo

II. Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force Updates, Sergeant Dan Steele, Denver Police Department  Sgt. Steele informed the group that the RMILTF has recovered 58 juveniles from January to June, 2016. Among the notable trends are more recoveries of male youth However, he explained that the numbers of arrests are down from previous years due to the increase in MDTs forming across the Denver-metro area and those MDTs making many more requests for interviews with those they have identified as high-risk juveniles. Due to their own capacity limits this has forced the task force to focus more attention to these interviews rather than making arrests of traffickers. It is a workload shift that needs to be examined.

III. Colorado Trafficking & Organized Crime Coalition (CTOCC) Updates  No update was provided as a CTOCC representative was absent. IV. Colorado Human Trafficking Council Updates Maria Trujillo, CHTC Program Manager  Ms. Trujillo informed the group that the Council is entering the end of their year where they make final recommendations for its 2016 report to the General Assembly. The Council’s three task forces have made steady progress and have final work products to present to the Council at their August 26th meeting.  The Training Task Force has completed the development of a HT 101 Core Training Curriculum and Facilitator’s Guide, which is a two hour program. They are currently working on finalizing a Law Enforcement training program.  The Standards Task Force has completed the developed of standards for Community Based Victim Advocates and Mental/Behavioral Health Providers.  The Data and Research Task force is working on developing a prosecution survey to better understand the awareness-level prosecutors have on human trafficking and the new statutes, the tools and resources they use to prosecute a case as well as the partnerships they developed in their community in order to be successful with human trafficking case.  Ms. Trujillo invited everyone to attend the August 26th meeting and informed the group that this would be a good meeting to attend as all the Task Forces will be presenting their final work products and recommendations to the Council. The meeting begins at 9am and takes place at the Jefferson County Human Services Bldg (900 Jefferson County Parkway) V. Featured Presenter: A Discussion of the Colorado Project’s Action Plan Launch, Mary Durant, Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking  Ms. Durant provided a brief history of the Colorado Project, its main objectives and the overall outcomes, which primarily led to the development of the Action Plan  Ms. Durant explained that the Action Plan is a blueprint for the state on how to combat human trafficking collaboratively and the components of the Action Plan are divided by the 4P model.  In total the Action Plan provides 14 recommendations with 48 activities. Ms. Durant provided an example of a recommendation under each of the 4Ps.  The purpose of the Action Plan launch is to be able to catalogue the work that people are doing across and/or want to do that fall under the Action Plan. Ms. Durant explained that not only do they want to know what folks are doing but how they are doing it. They will collect all this information and provide an annual report of their findings.  The official Action Plan launch will take place on October 20th at 5 sites: Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Boulder and Greeley. VII. Partnerships: Each representative made their respective announcements. For more information, please contact directly. 

Klein Frank Foundation Supports Vetted Refugees

President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect on Friday night. Fully vetted refugees who were airborne on flights on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.

Legal challenges and a request for class action certification to release the detained refugees was filed. The complaints were filed by American Civil Liberties Union, the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization and the firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

Klein Frank is going to join in the effort and provide funding and support to the family of Mr. Alshawi  in Houston.  If you would like to donate for this effort, please contact Beth Klein Boulder Attorney 303-448-8884

The president’s order also blocks the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism. Those countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The lawyers said that one of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the United States government in Iraq for 10 years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was coming to the United States to join his wife, who had worked for an American contractor, and young son, the lawyers said. They said both men had been detained at the airport on Friday night after arriving on separate flights.

“These are people with valid visas and legitimate refugee claims who have already been determined by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to be admissible and to be allowed to enter the U.S. and now are being unlawfully detained,” Mr. Doss said.

According to the filing, Mr. Darweesh was granted a special immigrant visa on Jan. 20, the same day Mr. Trump was sworn in as president. Mr. Darweesh worked with the United States in Iraq in a variety of jobs — as an interpreter, engineer and contractor — over the course of roughly a decade.

Mr. Darweesh worked as an interpreter for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Baghdad and Mosul starting shortly after the invasion of Iraq on April 1, 2003. The filing said he had been directly targeted twice for working with the United States military.
Brandon Friedman, who worked with Mr. Darweesh as an infantry lieutenant with the 101st Airborne, praised Mr. Darweesh’s work.

“This is a guy that this country owes a debt of gratitude to,” Mr. Friedman said. “There are not many Americans who have done as much for this country as he has. He’s put himself on the line. He’s put his family on the line to help U.S. soldiers in combat, and it is astonishing to me that this country would suddenly not allow people like that in.”

Mr. Friedman, who is the chief executive of the McPherson Square Group, a communications firm in Washington, added, “We have a moral obligation to protect and repay these people who risked their lives for U.S. troops.”

“He is a brave individual, and he cares about Iraq and he cares about the U.S.,” he said of Mr. Darweesh.

Mr. Alshawi was supposed to be reunited with his wife, who has been living in Texas. The wife, who asked to be identified by her first initial, D., out of concern for her family’s safety, wiped away tears as she sat on a couch in her sister’s house early Saturday in a Houston suburb.

“He gave his package and his passport to an airport officer, and they didn’t talk to him, they just put him in a room,” his wife said. “He told me that they forced him to get back to Iraq. He asked for his lawyer and to apply for an asylum case. And they told him, ‘You can’t do that. You need to go back to your country.’”

She said the authorities at the airport had told him that the president’s signing of the executive order was the reason he could not proceed to Houston.
“They told him it’s the president’s decision,” she said.

Women of Vision

Beth Klein had the honor of speaking with Half the Sky’s Sheryl Wu Dunn to the Colorado Women of Vision.  Look how far they flew!  This link will take you to the video of all they accomplished.

Colorado Women of Vision

From the Director Robin Black:

This video will be broadcast on channels 56 and 57 through Denver Open Media. Because the station is a “project of the Open Media Foundation.”

Hopefully having this message broadcast in the Denver area will help the cause of eradicating child trafficking.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Beth Klein for attending our event

Please share the video and VOTE because it helps the station to broadcast it more often!

 

Beth Klein Boulder Bar HT Presentation

On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at noon, Beth Klein, the Boulder Bar Co-Chair of the Civil Litigation Division will host a presentation on Human Trafficking at the Boulder District Court in the East Training Room.

Brad Riley from I-Empathize and Janet Drake Assistant Colorado Attorney General will discuss prevention and prosecution strategies and legislative updates.

Please contact Beth Klein 303-448-8884, if you would like to attend. CLE is available.

Colorado HT Activities

Opportunity to Join the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board
The Crime Victim Services (CVS) Advisory Board is looking to add two new members to the CVS board. They are seeking a representative from a tribal government as well as a representative from an under-served population (i.e. populations who face barriers in accessing and using victim services). Interested applicants can learn more by visiting the CVS Board web page.

Emergency Fund for Crime Victims Webinar
As a result of the statewide needs assessment conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), emergency funds for victims of crime was identified as a Special Project for the use of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA funds). DCJ’s Office for Victims Programs is working collaboratively with the Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance (COVA) and other stakeholders to address this need through the establishment of the Emergency Fund Program.

To learn more about how victim service organizations can access financial support for crime victims join the webinar being hosted on January 11th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.  Register for the webinar here.  If you have any questions regarding this webinar contact Ashley Riley Lopes at ashley.lopes@state.co.us.

Save the Date – Human Trafficking Legislative Day
February 16th: The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado will be hosting its annual Human Trafficking Legislative Day at the West Foyer of the Colorado State Capitol. This year’s event will focus on law enforcement. The State Calendar will be updated when we receive more information about the event.

End of Year Updates

North East Colorado Coalition Against Trafficking

In the final month of 2016, we spotlight the North East Colorado Coalition Against Trafficking (NECCAT). NECCAT was founded by a group of committed members of the Zonta Club-Greeley chapter in January of 2015. Zonta Vice President, Diana Laws, was a driving force in getting the group off the ground. As she explained it, Zonta’s mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. The Greeley Zonta membership recognized that there were already several organizations addressing a variety of women’s issues. But, Zonta believed it could address a gap by elevating the issue of human trafficking and its intersection with violence against women in their local community.

In less than two years of operation, 26 agencies—including area law enforcement and social service agencies—have joined the group. NECCAT sees its role as a convener of key stakeholders who have the experience and expertise to respond to cases of human trafficking. NECCAT also serves as a central repository for education and resources in the area. The group receives multiple requests for training on human trafficking and is able to enlist members to carry out education and outreach events based on their areas of specialization. Likewise, NECCAT has partnered with Zonta to raise funds to support human trafficking survivors. It has dedicated a portion of those funds to make survivor kits that include such things as basic toiletries and handmade socks. The kits benefit survivors immediately and support local law enforcement in their efforts to build rapport and a sense of safety among those they identify as potential trafficking victims. For more information about NECCAT, please contact Diana Laws.

In the News
Shared Hope International recently released its 2016 state report cards regarding their response to domestic minor sex trafficking, especially each state’s legal response. Colorado earned a “B” grade. You can read Colorado’s report card here.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Magazine published an alternative business perspective on the topic of human trafficking in supply chains. Among other things, their article outlines ways that companies can comply with various national laws and directives from the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union.

Recent Convictions

A man was convicted in Greeley on 32 counts related to a sex trafficking operation and was sentenced to 248 years in prison in a Weld County District Court. This conviction represents the longest sentence to be handed down for human trafficking in the state’s history. The defendant was convicted after a 13-day trial. He was arrested in 2014 following an extensive investigation by the Greeley Police Department, FBI’s Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force, and Colorado State Patrol.

Another man was also found guilty of human trafficking in Weld County District Court early in November. The investigation began with a traffic stop in 2014, which led to a joint law enforcement investigation.The defendant was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

National Updates

Victim Services Study Launched
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) are launching a national data collection effort to better understand crime victims needs and the services available to them. This data collection effort will be conducted in two phases, phase one will involve the launching of the first-ever National Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP). Phase two will build off of the census by conducting the National Survey of Victim Services Providers, a longer survey aimed at reaching a representative sample of victim service providers.

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January)

To help you prepare for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, OVC announced a series of resources to assist in raising public awareness on the issue. These resources include the Faces of Human Trafficking Resource Guide, as well as the Human Trafficking Task Force E-Guide. You can learn more by visiting OVC’s Human Trafficking website.

New Name for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has changed its name to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. You can learn more about the change on their website.

Forecasted Grant Opportunity

The Administration for Children and Families and the Office for Trafficking in Persons have a forcasted funding opportunity, Look Beneath the Surface Regional Anti-Trafficking Program (LBS). The LBS Program will serve as a focal point in targeted geographic areas and focus on the identification and referral of foreign and domestic human trafficking victims. Learn more about this opportunity by visiting grants.gov and searching LBS. The estimated posting date for this opportunity is January 6, 2017.