Ashland Trio Indicted for Alleged Labor Trafficking and Other Crimes

July 17, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 16, 2013 released the following:

“A five-count indictment was filed charging three people from Ashland, Ohio with engaging in a labor trafficking conspiracy and other crimes related to them holding woman with cognitive disabilities and her child against their will and forcing the woman to perform manual labor for them, law enforcement officials said today.

Jordie L. Callahan, 26; Jessica L. Hunt, 31; and Dezerah L. Silsby, 21, used a combination of violence, threats, sexual assaults, humiliation, deprivation, and monitoring to establish and continue a pattern of domination and control over their victims, identified only as S.E. and B.E., according to the indictment.

Their tactics included beating S.E., threats of beatings to S.E. and B.E., taunting and threatening the victims with pit bulls and snakes, causing the victims to sleep in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, restricting B.E. and S.E.’s access to the bathroom, preventing them from eating regular and suitable meals, and forcing S.E. to eat dog food and crawl on the floor while wearing a dog collar, according to the indictment.

Callahan pointed a firearm at S.E.’s head and threatened to kill her if she did not perform the labor and services he and other conspirators commanded. Callahan also forced S.E. on multiple occasions to engage in sex acts with him and threatened that he and Hunt would kill S.E. if she told anyone about the forced sexual acts, according to the indictment.

A fourth person, Daniel K. Brown, 33, of Ashland, was charged with one count of conspiracy in a criminal information filed today.

“These charges paint a picture of the unspeakable cruelty these defendants inflicted upon this mother and her child,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “It provides another stark reminder that human trafficking takes place all around us and that we need to be better neighbors to one another.”

“These defendants are being held accountable for their unfathomable treatment of another human being,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Office. “The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue and bring to justice those individuals that force others into unlawful labor or sex practices.”

Callahan, Hunt, and Silsby face one count each of the following: conspiracy to violate laws; forced labor; theft of government benefits; and acquiring a controlled substance by deception. Callahan and Hunt face an additional charge of tampering with a witness.

The conspiracy between Callahan, Hunt, Silsby, and Brown took place between August 2010 and October 2012. The object of the conspiracy included holding S.E. in a condition of forced labor and involuntary servitude; obtaining S.E.’s and B.E.’s public assistance benefits; and intentionally causing painful injuries to S.E. so they could use the narcotic pain medications she was prescribed to satisfy their personal drug craving, according to the indictment.

Callahan and Hunt recruited S.E. and B.E. to live with them in their two-bedroom apartment in Ashland, knowing that S.E. has a cognitive disability and that S.E. and B.E. received monthly public assistance payments, according to the indictment.

In or around September 2010, Callahan and Hunt forced S.E. to have her and B.E.’s public assistance benefits issued on a debit card rather than paper check. They then took control of the card, forced S.E. to give them the PIN, and used the card for their own benefit and the benefit of their family and friends, according to the indictment.

In August 2011, Silsby, at the direction of Callahan and Hunt, smashed S.E.’s hand with a rock with such force that S.E. needed to go to the hospital emergency room. Callahan, Hunt, and Silsby then forced S.E. to give them the narcotic pain pills and prescription for narcotic pain pills she obtained after being treated at the emergency room, according to the indictment.

In December 2011, Callahan and Hunt injured S.E.’s back with such force that she needed medical treatment. Again, Callahan and Hunt forced S.E. to give them the narcotic pain pills and prescription for narcotic pain pills she obtained after being treated, according to the indictment.

In March 2012, Callahan kicked S.E. in the hip with such force that she needed medical treatment. Callahan and Hunt forced S.E. to give them the narcotic pain pills and prescription for narcotic pain pills she obtained after being treated, according to the indictment.

On multiple occasions between August 2010 and October 2012, Callahan and Hunt threatened S.E. and B.E. with serious physical harm, including death, if S.E. did not clean up the apartment; care for their numerous pit bull dogs, snakes, and other reptiles; purchase items at the store; and perform other labor and services ordered by the conspirators, according to the indictment.

Callahan and Hunt used a video camera to monitor S.E. and B.E.’s activities and conversations in the apartment. They often forced S.E. to walk to the store to buy groceries, cigarettes, dog food, and other items for Callahan, Hunt, and Hunt’s four sons and to pay for these purchases with her public assistance card. They allotted S.E. only a brief time period to complete the shopping and warned her she was not allowed to speak with anyone while she was out. They frequently required B.E. to remain with them at the apartment while S.E. was out and threatened physical harm to B.E. and S.E. if S.E. broke any of their rules, according to the indictment.

Callahan and Hunt also threatened to contact Ashland County Job and Family Services and have B.E. taken away if S.E. purchased any items at the store other than those they ordered or if she told anyone about their unlawful conduct, according to the indictment.

In June 2011, after S.E. and B.E. had attempted to flee the apartment, Callahan and Hunt ordered Brown and Silsby to find S.E. and B.E. and bring them back to the apartment. Brown and Silsby lured S.E. and B.E. into their vehicle by promising to take them to Dairy Queen, only to deposit them afterwards back at the apartment, according to the indictment.

On multiple occasions, Callahan and Brown locked S.E. and B.E. in a room with a window that was nailed shut and a door that had been locked from the outside, according to the indictment.

In October 2011, Callahan and Hunt forced S.E. to hit her child while they recorded a video and threatened to inflict much greater physical harm on both S.E. and B.E. if S.E. did not comply, according to the indictment.

One month later, Callahan and Hunt again forced S.E. to strike B.E. while they captured a video recording of the staged incident on Callahan’s cell phone. Callahan and Hunt repeatedly threatened have B.E. taken away by showing the videos to authorities in order to secure S.E.’s compliance to the conspirators’ commands.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chelsea Rice and Thomas E. Getz, with assistance from Trial Attorney Victor Boutros of the Justice Department’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, following an investigation by the FBI and Ashland Police Department, with assistance from the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including each defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), his or her role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases they will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Prosecutors in ND, SD warn about human trafficking

July 18, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle on July 17, 2012 released the following:

“DAVE KOLPACK, Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Top federal prosecutors from North and South Dakota have added human trafficking to their list of crimes affecting Native Americans at an increased rate in the two states.

U.S. attorneys Brendan Johnson of South Dakota and Timothy Purdon of North Dakota said during a conference on family violence Tuesday that both states are seeing more cases of girls and young women being recruited for prostitution and drug rings.

Three new indictments for human trafficking have been handed down in South Dakota in the last three months, Johnson said.

“You have people who treat their victims like they’re not humans,” Johnson said after talking to a group that included police, social workers, prosecutors, counselors and community leaders.

The operations are formed mainly in populated areas, but American Indian girls are particularly at risk, the prosecutors said. Some of them were recruited by a Sioux Falls-area man who was convicted last year of sex trafficking of a child.

“These young girls were brutalized. They were humiliated,” Johnson said.

Brandon Thompson, 28, of Tea, S.D., was sentenced to life in prison on the sex trafficking charge.

“This is one area where the federal government has gotten it right,” Johnson said of the penalty.

A recent sex trafficking case in North Dakota involved several victims from the Fort Berthold Reservation. Dustin Morsette, 22, of New Town, was convicted of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, drug trafficking and witness tampering. He is awaiting sentencing.

Authorities said Morsette recruited minors and young adults to be part of a gang he described as the Black Disciples. He allegedly forced gang members to distribute marijuana for him and engage in sex acts with him.

One of the investigators in that case, Bureau of Indian Affairs agent Mike White, said the increase in oil workers has added to worries about sex trafficking. But he said recent convictions on human trafficking and other violent crime has made victims and others more willing to help law enforcement.

“I have hope. I’ve seen it already,” White said in an interview Tuesday. “Once they know people are being prosecuted, they are coming forward.”

Purdon, the U.S. attorney from North Dakota, said the campaign against violent crime on the reservation is a long process. He noted that an American Indian woman born in the United States has a 1-in-3 chance of being sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

“Improving public safety in Indian country is not something you are going to knock out in two years,” he said. “If we can sustain this for a period of years, I am hopeful, I am confident, we can impact some of these statistics we find to be unacceptable.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Feds: Trafficking ring busted smuggling kids over U.S.-Canadian border

June 8, 2012

SeattlePI.com on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“16 indicted; SeaTac motel owner faces prison is scheme
By LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

Federal investigators have cracked a human trafficking ring thought to have smuggled dozens of illegal immigrants – including children traveling alone – over the Canadian border.

Having indicted 16 suspects in recent months, federal prosecutors in Seattle contend the loosely knit group brought more than 70 people into the United States from India, Pakistan and South Korea. Once inside the country, they were driven or flown to at least six states, including Illinois, Texas, New York and Massachusetts.

The operation – broken up by an informant and ultimately infiltrated by an undercover federal agent – was apparently lucrative for its leaders. A SeaTac hotel owner who moved and housed the smuggling ring’s customers was paid $1,000 a head just for a ride south from the U.S. side of the border.

Since the string of indictments, 11 of the 12 defendants have pleaded guilty to related charges. The other four are not yet in federal custody, according to court records.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


FBI Seeks Google’s Help to Crack Alleged Pimp’s Android Phone

March 15, 2012

PCMag.com on March 14, 2012 released the following:

“By Damon Poeter

The FBI needs some help cracking the Android phone of an alleged pimp being investigated as part of a federal human trafficking investigation. Agents out of the FBI’s San Diego office seized one Dante Dears’ Samsung phone on Jan. 17, tried and failed to get past the device’s pattern lock , and have now applied for a warrant ordering Google to unlock it for them.

Dears is the convicted founder of a San Diego street gang called “Pimpin’ Hoes Daily.” After his release from state prison in January 2009, he allegedly fell in with his old set and the FBI secured a search warrant for his phone. In the affidavit filed on March 9 with the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California, FBI agent Jonathon Cupina reveals that after seizing the device, FBI Regional Computer Forensics Lab (RCFL) technicians tried “multiple times” to get into the locked-down phone but couldn’t do it.

So where does Google come in? The RCFL techs’ attempts to get past the phone’s pattern lock triggered a memory lock on the device that can’t be unlocked without the user’s Gmail address and password. The feds want Google to divulge that information, plus “any and all means of gaining access” to the phone, including password reset info and the manufacturer default code, or PUK, “in order to obtain the complete contents of the memory” of the device.

Christopher Soghoian of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research first spotted the FBI warrant Wednesday. Posting on his Slight Paranoia blog, he wondered why the RCFL techs didn’t just “use commercially available forensics tools or widely documented hardware-hacking techniques” to get into Dears’ phone.

But the competency of the RCFL techs or their willingness to use possibly illegal hacking tools isn’t the primary concern of Soghoian and his commenters.

For one thing, Soghoian raises the issue of whether texts, voice mails, emails, or other communications arriving on the phone after it was seized could be used as incriminating evidence against Dears if the original search warrant didn’t also request the phone be used as a surveillance device.

Second, at the end of the warrant application, Cupina requests of the court that Dears (or any other subscriber using the phone—the suspect claims the phone isn’t his, according to Cupina, but the feds believe otherwise) not be told “by any means of communication” about the effort to collect the data on it. Either the court decided to disregard that request or somebody made a pretty big error in unsealing the record of the application for all the world to see and report about.

Of course, it would be somewhat baffling if Dears didn’t realize the FBI wanted to see what was on his phone when they seized it. Unfortunately for the feds, it’s possible he may have already taken steps to erase data accessed through the phone but stored in the cloud, like email.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Team Will Target Human Trafficking in Kansas, Missouri

July 26, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 25, 2011 released the following:

“KANSAS CITY, KS—A new team of federal prosecutors and investigators will target human trafficking in Kansas and Missouri, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today.

Kansas and Missouri have been chosen to participate in a nationwide Human Trafficking Enhanced Enforcement Initiative designed to streamline federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses. As part of the initiative, a specialized Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team, known as an ACTeam, will be formed in Kansas and Missouri. The ACTeam will focus on developing federal criminal human trafficking investigations and prosecutions to vindicate the rights of human trafficking victims, bring traffickers to justice, and dismantle human trafficking networks.

“Freedom from slavery is every person’s most basic human right,” Grissom said. “The anti-trafficking team will give us the tools we need to fight this cruel, despicable practice wherever we find it.”

The departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor announced today that Phase I Pilot ACTeams would be housed at Kansas City, Mo.; Atlanta, Ga.; El Paso, Texas; Memphis, Tenn.; Los Angeles; and Miami under the leadership of the U.S. Attorneys and the highest-ranking federal investigative agents from the FBI, ICE, and Department of Labor field offices in each region. The announcement follows the conclusion of a competitive, interagency selection process led by the Federal Enforcement Working Group, a collaboration of the Justice Department’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, and the Dept. Of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Office of the Inspector General.

On Feb. 1, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis jointly announced the launch of the ACTeam Initiative and the competitive interagency selection process.

Each ACTeam, which includes federal prosecutors and federal agents from multiple federal enforcement agencies, will implement a strategic action plan to combat identified human trafficking threats.

The Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Labor have each launched significant initiatives to combat human trafficking as part of collaborations among federal, state, local, and international law enforcement, including governmental and non-governmental partners.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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