FBI New Orleans
Craig C. Betbeze
(504) 816-3274
February 1, 2017

FBI Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Task Force Rescues 11 Women During a Two-Day Joint Operation

NEW ORLEANS—Today, FBI New Orleans Division Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeffrey Sallet, along with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations SAC Ray Palmer, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison, and Kenner Police Chief Michael Glaser, hosted a press conference to announce the details of a recent two-day joint law enforcement operation which spanned across the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Coinciding with Human Trafficking Awareness Month, FBI agents and task force officers from the Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Task Force (VCAC/HT TF) conducted a Human Trafficking operation from January 26th – 27th and helped rescue 11 women suspected to be victims of Human Trafficking and Civil Rights abuse.

This FBI New Orleans Human Trafficking operation, although local and smaller in size, is very similar to the FBI’s nationwide operation dubbed “Operation Cross Country” which identifies pimps and traffickers during large-scale events and sporting events. The primary goal of the operation was to identify adult sex trafficking victims and provide victim assistance. Many times, the women are held against their will, forced into a life of prostitution, housed in less than humane conditions, and tortured if they don’t “earn” enough money to satisfy their pimps or traffickers. Our investigations will focus on identifying and building a prosecutable case against the person, or criminal enterprises, responsible for exploiting the victim(s).

In total, the two-day VCAC/HT TF operation helped 11 women escape from this horrific industry. Through the FBI’s Victim Assistance Program and local non-profit agencies, the women were provided with any necessary medical treatment, food, shelter, clothing, and services to help unite them with family and friends.

The NO VCAC/HT TF is a full-time task force currently comprised of FBI agents and task force officers from the Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Kenner Police Department. The FBI New Orleans Division is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to combat Human Trafficking throughout Louisiana. Using every available resource, we will continue to hunt down traffickers throughout our state, and with our law enforcement partners will locate and apprehend these criminals across America and even abroad.