Home News News Blog

News Blog

Found 962 posts.
Jun 26, 2014 03:30 PM

Operators of MyRedbook.com Arrested, Sites Seized

Eric Omuro, of Mountain View, California, also known as “Red,” was arrested following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges involving the use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate ...

Operators of MyRedbook.com Arrested, Websites Seized


Eric Omuro, of Mountain View, California, also known as “Red,” was arrested on June 25, 2014, following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges involving the use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution and multiple counts of money laundering. The FBI seized the domain names sfredbook.com and myredbook.com, which were allegedly used to facilitate prostitution in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast region of the United States.

According to information available on the publicly accessible website as of the date of its seizure by the FBI, myredbook.com purported to provide “Escort, Massage, and Strip Club Reviews.” Instead, however, the website hosted advertisements for prostitutes, complete with explicit photos, lewd physical descriptions, menus of sexual services, hourly and nightly rates, and customer reviews of the prostitutes’ services.

The website used acronyms for numerous sex acts, which were defined in graphic detail in the website’s “Terms and Acronyms” section. Although the website could be accessed for free, myredbook.com advertised fees for premier placement of prostitution advertisements and for “VIP Memberships,” which purportedly allowed customers access to “private forums” and heightened capabilities to search reviews of the prostitution services.

Full press release

Jun 26, 2014 03:00 PM

Twitter Chat Focuses on Child Sex Trafficking

In the FBI’s first Twitter chat, the head of the Violent Crimes Against Children section yesterday answered questions from users of the social media platform about the Bureau’s efforts to fight human ...

Twitter Chat Focuses on Child Sex Trafficking


In the FBI’s first Twitter chat, the head of the Violent Crimes Against Children Section yesterday answered questions from users of the social media platform about the Bureau’s efforts to fight human trafficking and help victims.

Special Agent Michael Harpster talked about how the FBI partners with state and local authorities in law enforcement efforts like last week’s Operation Cross Country VIII, which resulted in the recovery of 168 victims of trafficking and the arrests 281 pimps.

The hour-long question-and-answer session generated dozens of questions that users sent to the Twitter hashtag #OCC8 that we established for the event. A transcript of the conversation can be seen below. The questioners’ identities and some Twitter-specific symbols have been removed, but the full conversation can be viewed on the FBI’s Twitter page or by using the hashtag #OCC8

Transcript:

Welcome to our FBI chat. I’m Michael Harpster, Violent Crimes Against Children section. I look forward to your questions at #OCC8.

First, I’d like to thank our state and local partners. Together, we had a great accomplishment with [Operation Cross Country VIII].

Q: What steps are you taking to address the demand? Any links you can provide?

Harpster: Through our 69 child exploitation task forces we address all aspects of exploitation to include demand.

Q. What’s #OCC8?

Harpster: #OCC8 was an FBI-led nationwide law enforcement operation targeting child sex trafficking. Related Link

Harpster: #OCC8 isn’t a one-time deal. Our Innocence Lost National Initiative combats domestic child sex trafficking daily.

Q. Thanks for taking questions. Do you know the origins of the victims? Were they trafficked into the US? Inter-State smuggling?

Harpster: Victims come from all demographics, from small communities to large cities. Many are trafficked across state lines.

Q. What do you think the most important step is to ending child exploitation? 

Harpster: Community involvement, awareness, education, and reporting are critical to stopping exploitation. Call FBI or 1-800-THE-LOST

Q. Thank you for doing the right thing. How is our government helping these victims. How can we help them too?

Harpster: Victim specialists provide crisis intervention, an array of services, and follow-up care.  Related Link

Q. Were many of these pimps armed and/or dangerous? Were any of them aware of the child rescue operation? 

Harpster: Yes, many pimps have violent criminal histories. To our knowledge, they were not aware of the ongoing operation. 

Q. Can you elaborate on what sort of collaboration with nonprofits, if any, you find most helpful to your work? 

Harpster: We have strong partnerships with @MissingKids, @restoreblackbow, and many other agencies and NGOs. 

Q. Are you including state and local law enforcement? If so what steps are they taking too end the problem?

Harpster: For this operation we had almost 400 agencies participate. We partner with nearly 600 task force officers daily.

Q. Hope they answer why they put minors swept up in these raids in handcuffs.

Harpster: At recovery, a child may not be fully identified or may have a warrant. Also, for their safety during the initial response. 

Harpster: If you have been exploited or have info regarding exploited children, contact your local FBI or @MissingKids.

Harpster: The primary focus of #OCC8 was the safe recovery of child victims, providing services, and raising awareness of child sexual exploitation.

Harpster: We’d like to thank our digital billboard partners for helping the #FBI get the message out that “America’s children are not for sale.” 

Harpster: Thanks for joining me and being part of the conversation. I wish I had time to answer more questions. For more info visit @FBI

Jun 24, 2014 04:00 PM

FBI Hosting Twitter Chat with Special Agent

The FBI will host its first Twitter chat Wednesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. EDT to continue to highlight the issues of human trafficking and crimes against children. Special Agent Michael Harpster, chief ...


FBI Hosting Chat with Special Agent on Twitter


The FBI will host its first Twitter chat Wednesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. EDT to continue to highlight the issues of human trafficking and crimes against children. Special Agent Michael Harpster, chief of the Bureau’s Violent Crimes Against Children section, will field questions on the FBI’s Twitter account at twitter.com/FBI.

You can follow the conversation and submit questions using the hashtag #OCC8, which stands for Operation Cross Country VIII, the nationwide sweep last week that culminated in the arrest of 281 pimps and the recovery of 168 children.

Chats are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to participate.

- FBI on Twitter
- Submit questions and follow chat

Jun 20, 2014 05:00 PM

50 Years Since Mississippi Burning

The June 1964 disappearance of civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman in Mississippi occurred during a pivotal time in our country’s—and the Bureau’s—history.

50 Years Since Mississippi Burning


The June 1964 disappearance of civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman in Mississippi occurred during a pivotal time in our country’s—and the Bureau’s—history.

Full story

Jun 17, 2014 10:00 PM

Libyan National Charged in Connection with 2012 Benghazi Attack

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, aka Ahmed Mukatalah, a Libyan national approximately 43 years of age, has been charged for his alleged participation in the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission ...

Libyan National Charged in Connection with 2012 Benghazi Attack

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, aka Ahmed Mukatalah, a Libyan national approximately 43 years of age, has been charged for his alleged participation in the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans—Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.

Khatallah is in U.S. custody. Upon his arrival to the U.S., he will be promptly presented before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., and appointed counsel.

Full press release

Jun 17, 2014 04:30 PM

Public Corruption Update

The vast majority of public servants who work at the local, state, and federal levels of government are honest and dedicated folks who strive every day to do the right thing for their constituents, ...

Public Corruption Update

Men Carrying Briefcases

The vast majority of public servants who work at the local, state, and federal levels of government are honest and dedicated folks who strive every day to do the right thing for their constituents, their communities, and their country.

Unfortunately, there is a small subgroup of public servants who, whether elected, appointed, or contracted, are only concerned about a very specific constituency—themselves. And because this type of corruption strikes at the heart of government, eroding public confidence and undermining the strength of our democracy, the investigation of public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal priority.

Full story

Jun 03, 2014 11:00 AM

Protecting Aircraft from Lasers: Trial Program Being Expanded Nationwide

After a successful trial program aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft—by rewarding those who provide information about individuals who engage in this dangerous crime and ...

Protecting Aircraft from Lasers: Trial Program Being Expanded Nationwide


After a successful trial program aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft—by rewarding those who provide information about individuals who engage in this dangerous crime and aggressively prosecuting the perpetrators—the FBI is expanding the campaign nationwide.

Full story

Jun 02, 2014 12:30 PM

GameOver Zeus Botnet Disrupted

Today, the Department of Justice and the FBI announced a multinational effort to disrupt the GameOver Zeus botnet, believed to be responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from businesses and ...

GameOver Zeus Botnet Disrupted


Today, the Department of Justice and the FBI announced a multinational effort to disrupt the GameOver Zeus botnet, believed to be responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from businesses and consumers in the U.S. and around the world.

Full story, legal documents, and more information

May 30, 2014 03:00 PM

Bureau Initiative Focuses on Child Sex Tourism

Child sex tourism—people traveling to another country specifically to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children—is a very real issue that causes devastating and long-lasting psychological and ...

Bureau Initiative Focuses on Child Sex Tourism

Traveler Wheeling Suitcase

Child sex tourism—people traveling to another country specifically to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children—is a very real issue that causes devastating and long-lasting psychological and physical consequences for victims. And the problem is growing. The U.S. State Department estimates that more than a million children are exploited each year in the global commercial sex trade. That’s in addition to the untold number of young victims of non-commercial sexual conduct.

But whether it involves commercial or non-commercial sex acts, the FBI—in conjunction with our domestic and international law enforcement partners—investigates U.S. citizens and permanent residents who travel overseas to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children under the age of 18. Since 2008, our Child Sex Tourism Initiative has employed proactive strategies to address the crime, including working with foreign law enforcement and non-governmental organizations to provide child victims with support services and to investigate and prosecute individuals engaging in child sex tourism.

Full story

May 27, 2014 03:00 PM

Investigating Student Aid Fraud

It’s a yearly spring ritual: college-bound students, young and old, applying online for much-needed federal student aid in the form of grants or loans. Unfortunately, a few unscrupulous individuals ...

Investigating Student Aid Fraud

College Campus
It’s a yearly spring ritual: college-bound students, young and old, applying online for much-needed federal student aid in the form of grants or loans.

Unfortunately, a few unscrupulous individuals view Title IV Federal Student Assistance funding as a way to line their own pockets—not to get an education. According to a recent assessment by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, the number of aid recipients potentially taking part in criminal fraud rings is increasing.

And while the FBI doesn’t generally become involved these cases because of our necessary focus on counterterrorism, cyber crime, and other national security and major criminal threats, we do—as resources allow—assist our partners at the Department of Education and other agencies in rooting out some of the more egregious offenders.

Full story