by Richard Enos, Collective Evolution:
- The Facts:The US Marshals Office conducted the 1-day ‘Operation MISafeKid’ in Wayne County, Michigan last week. It sought to identify and recover missing children from the area with an emphasis on locating victims of sex trafficking.
- Reflect On:Is there reason to believe that some parts of our authority are earnestly making an effort to tackle and dismantle global human trafficking rings and find and protect victims? How much optimism should we have that things are really changing?
In a press release from October 3rd, the US Marshal’s Service made the following announcement under the title ‘New USMS Child Recovery Unit Recovers 123 Children During 1-Day Operation’:
Detroit, MI – The U.S. Marshals Service –Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit, U.S. Marshals Service Sex Offender Investigations Branch, Michigan State Police and law enforcement officers from Wayne County agencies participated in Operation MISafeKid, a missing juvenile sweep to identify and recover missing children from the area with an emphasis on locating victims of sex trafficking.
What I found of particular interest, in this case, is the emphasis being made that this operation was conducted in a single day for the purposes of ‘locating victims of sex trafficking.’ They implied that they were hoping to burst in on sex trafficking rings, rather than simply locate missing children in a general sense. The fact that 123 children were located in a single day means that there must have been a great many agents working together on this operation. In fact, the press release lists over 20 agencies/police departments that participated in the sting operation.
Some Children Were Not Lost
The point must be made that, upon closer examination, not all of the 123 children were actually lost. An unspecified number were reported as missing at one time and were still listed in police computers as missing. Police determined that their guardians failed to notify police when the children returned home. That information was not highlighted in the U.S. Marshals Service’s press release, which, in this regard, appears to have been worded to embellish the results of the initiative.
But I believe that this is not the fundamental issue to focus on. What is most important, in my mind, is whether or not this was a genuine effort on the part of the US Marshals Service to locate victims of child sex trafficking, to get information about and possibly apprehend child sex traffickers, and to most emphatically give hope to victims of child sex trafficking who may be able to seize opportunities to escape. This is given credence by the following statement in the press release: ‘The message to the missing children and their families that we wish to convey is that we will never stop looking for you.’
Orders From The Top
These words seem to echo those of President Trump and his administration, which finally appears to represent a presidency committed to dismantling global trafficking rings that are so powerful and pervasive that previously cowed administrations only paid lip service to the issue, if not overtly providing cover for these deeply entrenched criminal organizations.
Executive Order #13818 entitled ‘Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption’ issued by Donald Trump in December of 2017 has been written directly to facilitate the efforts of the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies to pursue and prosecute transnational trafficking rings. In this video from the Human Trafficking Summit in February 2018, Jeff Sessions confirms the strong commitment and details the strong actions already taken by this administration:
We work in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and our partners in Mexico, through a bilateral, anti-trafficking initiative aimed at dismantling transnational trafficking networks, because human trafficking, of course, is often a transnational crime. The day I was sworn in as Attorney General, President Trump sent me an executive order to dismantle these trans-national criminal organizations. It is a high priority of ours. You can be sure this includes human trafficking rings.
In fiscal year 2017, the Department of Justice secured convictions of nearly 500 traffickers. We brought a record number of cases last year, charging more than 550 defendants, some of those are still pending, these cases involved all forms of human trafficking…We’ve seen increases in cases filed, defendants charged, and defendants convicted, and we’re going to keep working at it.
I hope that it will shine a light on a problem that is all too often kept in the shadows.
Fight For The Narrative
The video below gives a good idea of the method and scope of Operation MISafeKid, where Sergeant Sara Krebs of the Michigan State Police Missing Person’s Unit explains the main point of emphasis of the one-day sting operation was “…not only to recover children that have gone missing, but the underlying tone in this was to find the hidden victims of sex trafficking.”
The video explains that once a child is recovered, the next step is to ask a series of questions to find out if they were being groomed for sex trafficking. “Who did they stay with, did somebody pay for them to stay somewhere, did they do favors for them, did they give them drugs?”
It was reported that of the children found, 3 of them showed evidence of involvement in trafficking, and case files were opened for each. It was not reported whether any traffickers were identified, found, or if leads to trafficking rings were obtained. But this is likely to be the type of information that would need to be kept secret.
Clearly, it seems, there was a desire to put out the message that there is an earnest effort to uncover and dismantle human trafficking rings and locate missing children, a message that does not seem to be ringing through the airwaves of mainstream media. A search for this story on the internet did not come up with the usual ‘high-search-priority’ suspects led by CNN and co. Most of the coverage was from local affiliates such as the video above, which begs the question: does mainstream media not want to report on efforts to seriously challenge human trafficking rings, or get the message out to victims of child sex trafficking to have hope because these committed organizations ‘will never stop looking for you’? I guess the question answers itself.
Though I could be wrong, it seems like things are changing ‘out there’, and concrete attempts are being made by positive forces, as Jeff Sessions said, to ‘shine a light on a problem that is all too often kept in the shadows.’ Our own initiative to shine light upon the darkness, not only in the outside world but upon our inner world, is an important part of our self-discovery as individuals and as a collective, and is inevitably needed if we are to create a world from the highest vision of our desires.