by Dustin Siggins NEW YORK, January 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With the Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, news sources and a prominent pro-life congressman have warned the tens of thousands of attendees could be providing cover for the sexual trafficking of women and girls. According to Policy Mic, for example, “hundreds…
by Ben Johnson WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Obama raged against “inequality” during his 2014 State of the Union Address, using the phrase three times in just over an hour. But Senator Mike Lee said Obama has misunderstood the concept. Real inequality has less to…
by Tony Perkins Jan. 31, 2014 (FRC) - For once, Eric Holder is conducting an investigation instead of being the subject of one. Even that’s proving to be a tall task for the U.S. Attorney General, whose agency can’t seem to put aside its political motives long enough to give conservatives a fair shake. And while…
by Ben Johnson WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The highest-ranking Catholic Democrat in the House of Representatives will receive an award from the nation’s largest abortion provider. On Friday morning, the Planned Parenthood announced it would be awarding House Minority Leader Nancy…
New York City, N.Y., Jan 31, 2014 / 03:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Members of a sex trafficking and drug ring centered in New York City were arrested after the group advertised “party packs” of drugs and sex workers in advance of the Super Bowl.
“While this investigation started a while ago, we’ve seen a serious uptick in activities in advance of the Super Bowl,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a Jan. 30 press conference.
He explained that the arrest involved members of “a money laundering, drug and prostitution ring based in New York City, but catering to clientele as far away as Texas.”
The arrest of 18 suspects followed an 11-month investigation by the New York Organized Crime Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security and the New York Police Department, officials said during a Jan. 30 press conference.
The arrests came just days before Super Bowl XLVIII, to be held in East Rutherford, N.J., a New York City suburb, on Feb. 2.
According to Schneiderman, the “very sophisticated drug and prostitution ring” operated its network using online media, “selling sex and drugs as a package deal” to high-end clients through advertisements.
He quoted a text sent to frequent clients offering “updated girls” and saying that “new sexy & beautiful girls R in town waiting for u.”
“They brought in new women every two months,” the attorney general later noted.
While the ring presented itself as an escort service, offenders sold sex and cocaine together as a package deal, he said.
Money paid by clients through credit cards was laundered through a chain of virtual wig, clothing and other stores, Schneiderman explained. While most clients paid in cash, the ring laundered more than $3 million in credit card charges within the past year.
State and local officials tracked the ring for nearly a year, in an operation utilizing undercover physical and electronic surveillance. Authorities noted a “huge increase” in activities in recent weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, including an increase in texts to potential buyers and advertisements.
Schneiderman stated that the ring’s sophistication and methods of operation “worked on a model really suited for the increase of people for the Super Bowl,” and law enforcement officials moved to close the ring before the sporting event itself.
The investigation will continue, Schneiderman said, adding that they are interviewing the ring’s prostitutes “to identify any victim of human trafficking first and foremost.”
None of the people arrested “were street-level prostitutes,” he added. “We’re going after the criminal enterprise.”
Schneiderman promised that solicitors of human trafficking would face severe repercussions.
“Better to get yourself in front of the T.V., grab yourself a few beers and stay out of trouble,” he warned those who may be considering taking part in drugs and prostitution during the Super Bowl weekend.
“Prostitution and human trafficking is not a victimless crime,” New York Police Department Chief Phillip Banks III emphasized, promising an inter-departmental approach to those engaged in trafficking.
Lori Cohen, director of the anti-trafficking program Sanctuary for Family, praised law enforcement for “focusing on the real criminals: the pimps, madams and the buyers,” rather than the victims being trafficked.
“Instead of being arrested, these women were offered help and treated with respect compassion,” she said at the press conference, adding that many women who were victims of the ring were seeking her organization’s aid.
On Jan. 27, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R.-N.J.) chaired a hearing on human trafficking before a House subcommittee dealing with human rights.
The hearing drew attention to the problem of trafficking, particularly surrounding major sporting events. It highlighted efforts by state and federal authorities to fight trafficking in advance of the Super Bowl, as well as training programs to help transportation and hotel workers recognize the signs of exploitation and how to respond to them.
Rep. Smith pointed to a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, indicating that more than 10,000 exploited women and girls were trafficked to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl.
He emphasized the need to offer assistance to victims and hold those who exploit them fully accountable.
“This must not happen again,” he said.
by Dustin Siggins RICHMOND, VA, January 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is facing increased calls for impeachment in light of his decision to not defend his state’s marriage amendment. After he announced the decision last week, Herring faced an impeachment call from the…
by Thaddeus Baklinski TORONTO, January 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The head of Ontario’s human rights commission is defending the right of ‘transgendered’ men to use women’s changing rooms in response to a woman’s complaint that she was ogled by a naked man who was sexually aroused at…
Recent years have seen a dramatic decline in the number of children being born, according to a new report from the United Nations. The “World Fertility Report 2012″ was published earlier this year by the population division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The data covers the period from 1970 to …
By ANNA MARIA BASQUEZ |
MANHATTAN — As the Super Bowl XLVIII spotlight focuses on MetLife Stadium and nearby hubs of activity like Manhattan, most associated with a dazzling nightlife, an event centered on the Eucharist is making itself a part…
Rome, Italy, Jan 31, 2014 / 02:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An Italian bishop has voiced forgiveness for those responsible for stealing a relic of the blood of Blessed Pope John Paul II, soon after police announced the relic’s recovery.