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WWL>Topics>>4-3-14 3:10pm Angela: on sex trafficking

4-3-14 3:10pm Angela: on sex trafficking

Apr 3, 2014|

Angela talks with FBI Special Agent in Charge Mike Anderson about battling the sex trade and child pornography.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

One of the most abhorrent crimes today is the exploitation of children. Literally thousands of children each year become victims of crimes whether it's through kidnappings. Violent attacks or online predators. The organization on the front line fighting these crimes is the FBI. Its participation helping to find and protect children started in 1932. After the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. And continues today in a much expanded role. In the last twenty years as the Internet has connected child predators with unsuspecting children. And -- child porn big business. The FBI has led the way in its cyber battle against them. And as children have been enticed and in some cases kidnapped into horrendous line of prostitution. Around the world. The FBI has joined forces with teams around the globe to and the ever growing industry of child sex tourism. Crimes against children are -- epidemic. And here to spend the next hour with this is the special agent in charge of the New Orleans FBI office Michael Anderson. If you have any questions for mr. Anderson or any information. We'd love for you to call as you know that numbers 260187. -- Thank you very very much for being here thank -- -- it's a pleasure let's talk. Let's talk about how we got. We are just so much more alert today than twenty years ago. How did all of the sex trade this. Pornography is -- happen. Well there's no question that the Internet unfortunately for all of the great things that it has brought society. It has contributed greatly to this issue and disconnected people from across the globe. In this common pursuit of child pornography. And it's not just sharing of pictures but it it it there's a clear close nexus to abuse of children. And it really goes back to I think probably in the early ninety's. When FBI and and our law enforcement partners really started. Are pursuing this in full force. You're you have FBI behaviorist. But today saying about what motivates these predators what isn't about them that wants children. It it is really something that has spent a lot of research has been done on it and it is. From from what I could see it's this Holly's individuals are wired. There's been a number of interviews and part of our. Of our work in this area is not only do we put people in jail but we need to interview folks and interview these predators to find out what makes them tick. And over and over again there's just spent evidence of of of compulsion and how they're wired that they wanna stop. That they have at their self loathing that they they can't stand themselves are disgusted by themselves by my doing this behavior. But they can't seem to turn off that that conduct. And so the so given that. What's very frustrating for us is. The unbelievably high recidivism rates that your gonna see with sexual predators because of of of how their wired. This child porn industry on online. I think we've known it's existed. But the the recent case the one across the lake in a visa where it showed and I know it's an up open case we can't really discuss this but. Such a following 27000. People mean this is mine blowing to the the average person. And you know you have to think somebody's making money on this is what it is and just that it's a congregation of people with a one interest. If something is going on there if you if you are unable to discuss that case understood. But what has have you found in previous cases. About those that are more sophisticated not just the guy looking at porn. But those who -- creating. This I hate to use the -- business but enterprise. Absolutely I mean certainly there are people that child predators that further own pleasure for their own personal interest. Are engaged in this activity but then with any criminal activity you're gonna have a profiteers. That might have the cyber skills. To build these networks. Set up these Anonymizer so all these. Firewall to try to evade law enforcement. That these these folks to come together and what the problem what the Internet is it is a global environment where people -- operate in relative secrecy. And exchange ideas exchange trade craft -- techniques. In and and certainly that the pornography itself and it is just no surprise to me that you are able to build. And built like a big business just like the Internet has done for so many legitimate business news. It's just a I hate to sound dramatic but it is it is mind blowing that does it exist. I think we all that many big cities or or very sophisticated areas of the world we don't think our backyard. And that's what goes on my gosh. I know that you have. An incredible program. Called them and get this right called the hold on 12. Violent crimes against children program. Which really correct me if I'm wrong but is a program that really -- more from other programs. That's right it it is really. It -- easiest look at it in two major. Components one is the online child exploitation which were talking about the Internet activity. And then then you have the other component which is the sex trafficking. Where. Now with sex trafficking in -- also frequently starts with online activity witches. You know allowing pimps to. You know use girls advertise in and back page dot com handles types of informally Craig's list. In some of those platforms. -- traffic children. And so. Here in in our office here in New Orleans and in every FBI office we really have to components they worked together. But have a separate set of agents that are working on the sex trafficking crimes against children piece. And I also have those that are probably more well versed in cyber. I'm technology. They're going to be working the online child pornography and so you put those two together we have that the CAC. Okay I want everyone to stay was on -- everyone who is interested in asking anything to -- our special agent in charge here the local office of the FBI to give us a call. 260187. -- this is your opportunity. But we're gonna continue this talk about what has become really an epidemic so stay with this financial under the WL. Very lucky to have that special agent in charge of the New Orleans FBI office Mike Anderson as our guest today. Please give us a call 260187. If you have any questions for the head of the FBI here we are talking about. Their work now with that child exploitation crimes against children and how it has just proliferated beyond words. Let's go back to if we would. The violent crimes against children program he saves threefold to decrease the vulnerability. Of children to exploitation how do you -- What we try to do is I was close partnerships with non government organizations and victim assistance groups. That in the course of our investigations. Take a sex trafficking for example we identified some juvenile that are forced in prostitution. We rescue these these girls or boys for that matter. And then we work closely with social services and various entities. Two be able to hand off that that child -- them to try to build a support network it might include. Shelter. Drug treatment. May be reuniting with family if they -- if they were a runaway. And I think those types of efforts. That we undertake help decrease that vulnerability. Because what we don't do in this program is just simply go out and arrest. Rest individuals and then turn the girls away. Because of -- if you don't have a hand off. But the likelihood of them getting back into that in Internet trade. Of course against their will is very high. In the second phase is to provided nationwide. Rapid investigative response to crimes against kids in that means you have this incredible network of of FBI agents that's right. All 56 field offices as well as representation. In sixty some foreign countries. Have FBI personnel. That are ready to deploy. Have training that can work with these cases not just on our own certainly but in partnership with state local and other federal authorities. And we even have a rapid response team. They can go out and we also can deploy victim witness assistance counselors. Again because we Pringle the whole package to fight and you're also working -- -- wrong like homeland security and other groups that. Are fighting this battle that's right we. A whole litany of other agencies home each SI Homeland Security investigations. Here locally Ellis. GPS so NO PD. Everyone is all these law enforcement agencies are involved in this as well as of course US attorney's office but the DA's office as well. And the attorney general's office the state of Louisiana is also very. Activists. And give me a scenario is I'm listening to you where let's say your child has been. Abducted. That may not be -- when but where a teenager has been enticed into something. And when does it become the FBI's. Job vs Justine NO PD or JP -- Well with with juveniles the FBI can get involved immediately. You do not you do not have to have an interstate nexus. With adults. We do look forward interstate nexus. Typically for a for a formal FBI investigation but even with that said. We can always provide domestic police cooperation in any situation in any case and we do that frequently. So in the case of juvenile we get involved immediately. OK but we have a caller let's go to Anthony in New Orleans. -- And that ought donating. Out quicker but straight in Mexico Edgar. Upmarket country by. You know we've been credibly be. Here state side you know -- We. Got the right people that over arbiter. -- -- -- -- -- -- Reach out I'll leave it out the -- -- You know -- blood. Situation. And my apologies I had my volume down to Los like minister most of your question and I couldn't quite understand the very beginning you're saying a lot of work done. In Mexico would -- senator Richard looking at a domestically now. We. A lot of mock -- building apple. Or edit or expect field would it either is that they're you know. Epic -- drug trade or sex trafficking. Or you know or start your your basic be a portrait worked out and it ended up like you know we didn't wanted to actor. Don't read or -- and really the -- how people work you know the girl or boy and also -- -- -- -- -- Okay well if if if you're tying -- an issue and in Mexico. If you're looking for support. A good place to start would be one of our legal attache offices either in Mexico City and we have a number of other at take -- offices. In Mexico. I don't have -- -- the top of mind off the top of my head but I can be good place to start if you were looking for. Either law enforcement support because we have international partnerships. As well as domestic ones here -- locally and they can help point in the right direction for. These non government organizations and social services whether either on that side of the border. Or on or on our side I think that's what he was also saying is over here. Greg out we -- -- very hard but. Mexico op America even going -- that app because it becomes an issue. But we haven't. To needy people protest sport -- here at state which -- -- it more Arctic. You know I'm thinking in terms of I don't know if you were from -- but Covenant House for instance I know Ericsson and helps and there are now there's now an organization. -- home here at -- takes women who were in the prostitution trade and helps transition them. It's so there are -- but I understand -- -- saying maybe not enough. And they're looking -- of where -- you might be aware in the United States where they could put their energies obviously here. Got a big heart. What can we all -- battle back when -- in the beta two which is here you know like hitting a little more year. You know it's like -- are. Being able to help the long wait but you don't recruit him but by the building it out about it ordered it might be -- -- -- local you'd bet that the but not like that we -- -- local law enforcement and all -- that correct. One thing that you could do is you could call the FBI here locally. And Pittsburgh victims specialist. And he is. And an attorney Janice Dean. At five -- 48163000. In Janice Dean have all old network at least here with in the state of Louisiana. Full network of NGOs type organizations you're talking about. And alternates and if you're looking for help in Georgia for example she -- can reach out -- counter part and and a and that and a victims specials can provide the same. Thank you very much for. It. The priority issue the child. Which. That's domestic. And we will certainly work those cases as well. I guess I I I I I plausible Bentley talked about kind of priorities when it comes to any kind of kidnapping and ransom non ransom. Adult or juvenile those are the super priority for us and we take them all very seriously either we work them. We would either take the lead or be in a supporting role with our local agencies. So. And again whether again whether it's a fee or -- it's a juvenile or an adult. Our ransom or no ransom kidnappings are at that for the top of our list and a domestic priorities. I think there's that at the image of you know I didn't have. Her hand tight enough and somebody whisker away in reality oftentimes these are children who. Don't have a strong support system and are enticed. That's right and a new you have to. We we have to we have to treat them all pretty much the same but you're exactly right you have you have runaways you have. Individuals that mean have a drug addiction they've got emotional problems her -- or other issues. And make them highly vulnerable to. Being. Swept away by a boyfriend if you will or family member or just an associate. And it it it it's not as clean of a definition of kidnapping. That but it. When it comes to juvenile as a special their force in the sex trade. Coercion is is implied so. Now with adults against trick here and becomes a little bit -- from an evidentiary standpoint. To prove those cases when you have an adult female for example who is engaged in prostitution. If they were juvenile coercion would be implied as an adult we do we do have to. I'd do a little bit more digging. Two to establish the fact that this that this woman was held against her will. I think it's just very very interesting that it's -- for the layperson which I include myself. That that whole concept of sex trade. That it is domestic I think we often think that it is people in foreign countries and in reality what we're now learning from you all and others. Is that in high moments like Super Bowls and the big wrestling thing. People come to town for the express purpose. Of making a buck off of people that they have taken and made into sex slaves. That's right and we will see this frequently where. You have groups organizations. That will just traffic girls in the taken up and down the eastern seaboard or that the southwest of the West Coast. Just going from special event to special event. Hoping to capitalize on almost a Las Vegas type mentality of people. Wanna escape to wrestle mania the Super Bowl -- the MBA all star team for a wild weekend. And the that they -- there's some sort of diminished accountability for people to come in for at least for these events in some cases. And they're more vulnerable to. Engage in this kind of activity -- and the east traffickers know that. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue our talk with Mike Anderson but let's go to the newsroom now and find out what's going on. We are so fortunate to have special agent in charge with the FBI Mike Anderson. Our guest on this hour we've been talking about a program the FBI has which has offices among of course. Really born to fight crimes against children and I do have some figures here I've just got to read them because in 2007. The FBI had a 113. Child porn. Child exploitation cases sets to 113. Nine years later -- 2443. From 2007. To last December. 7759. Pending child porn exploitation cases. If that doesn't say what's happening nothing dies and those are the ones -- caught. That's right and and those numbers unfortunately don't surprise me. As we were talking during the break I can -- dedicate my whole office to working crimes against children. Especially Internet. Crimes if if especially if you're looking at -- a global. A global playing field he well. It is it is a very. Very serious it's it's epidemic. And the other thing that's a challenge for us is. Working crimes against children in particular the online child exploitation it's the only violation of the FBI. That we cannot require an FBI agent to work that. Because it is so traumatic for the investigators alone. Put aside of that the true victims here. Did so traumatic for the investigators we have to have psychological safeguard assessments in the local state locals and other federal agencies after the same thing. So it is very difficult. To have agents work this and and to build up the experience. Because after reviewing those images and working most cases and putting these guys in jail over and over and over again. It is concluded. It can be a whole army investigators as well. And yet I'm sure that they're moved by what they're saying they wanna stay and help but yeah how much can one person take a threat. But let let's go back to the child pornography thing because I thought it was interesting. First you're gonna try to get the guy. Or more on it isn't just all men but then how do you try what effort is made to get to children in the photographs. That becomes extremely difficult and especially because again we're talking about a global. Global playing field here we do we do try to make every effort possible in identifying the children but often times. The the images are such the videos pictures that you really hit it it becomes impossible. Now of course -- we we try to interview these individuals. As part of our investigation standard procedure is a thorough scrub of their computer. And in any networks and that they need be affiliated with. To try to identify one to try to identify victims and and certainly to identify other predators. Is it I'm just curious because. What -- in the woods of -- to springs or wherever you are something triggered. You all to know was it a phone call from. A neighbor wasn't the housekeeper was that something happens at these people ultimately get caught. Well we get cases in a variety of ways. We have. We get a lot of of cases from me and I always have trouble with this Akron -- national center for missing and exploited children. Nick make it's a national database where we can bring tips and nationally. And that group back in in Washington can can feed those back out to -- appropriate field office. Local tips. And then the fact is the agents that we have investigators that we have working these cases will do online chats and we'll get involved in the half. As well and and again there is -- such leave a volume of of of activity out there that unfortunately were only scratching the surface. You you mentioned you can use your entire office -- this I have to ask. It it's obviously -- priority it is -- a greater portion then of your budget. If it can be I think the that the big budget -- am in this in this work is the training. Because what happens is that we need. Cyber training. And lots of it to stay ahead of the predators because unfortunately. These people are becoming more and more sophisticated with their Anonymizer is all the tools of the trade craft to hide their identity. He and to be able to engage in secret chat rooms and and and secret sharing. Platforms and involving encryption so in order to stay ahead of the curve -- -- spend a fair amount of money on training. As well as hopefully providing training four for federal state local counterparts. I applaud for each SI Homeland Security investigations into very nice job of of training state and local agencies. So that that probably is our biggest budget plan. Stay with us everyone and if you want to one as a questioner talked to Mike Anderson give us -- call 2601870. Anne and I see there and we're gonna take a break we're gonna come right back to you financial under the W well. Our guest today is Mike Anderson head of the FBI here and were talking about crimes against children and the FBI's efforts. To not stop them and -- catch the people who are perpetrating. -- let's go to the phones and in Kenner and. Do you peer pressure. And in the artery turned out that this man. Doing what did you do -- package. How would update counselor -- -- how does it feel now for about change year. And most of my work we're we're -- okay. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Operation. OK well our particular Roche. Limited way. I could be wrong about because it along option that took site but. And let some factual Colombia and aunt and uncle would you open and correct -- I'm wrong -- changed. That -- I'm always overlook manual. The question. Cycle that apologies interpret lecturing curable. One of them borderline personality disorder in the court. And doing it because he can't treat somebody who knows it and bring him. They -- you know. In the field -- it's against the law in the orchard mall because our society. That the penalty. And I don't -- equipment for the top ten years in reality you know and can. Somebody called and correct me if I'm wrong because. -- -- perfection welcome mat in more. -- That we mainly. Were an addiction I I action or the treatment senator Gregg worked there and -- Went on and I'm an alcoholic now be recoverable trumpet. My primary thing we're we're we're addiction but I will nursing school I'm glad we had mentioned. You cheer or somebody take these. Learned it in -- BI. -- because it'll drop the although I would like your three point should have been a view window and stream it through and we're excited to go to -- school nurse and and -- chain all -- -- available. And at church gets absolutely like -- -- on the -- depression and everything else. Actually east -- -- and they're they're here all. And I I really appreciate you calling him if somebody calls and we'll answer that question or the comment she made we'd love to hear from them but thank you for calling. You know something we haven't talked about which again is for the regular person sort of a new word and that is the sex tourism. Where people have go to an we've heard about Thailand -- I had some other figures. That Cambodia Philippines and Thailand sex child sex tourism where people go over. 25%. Of those tourists are American. And in Latin American countries like Mexico Brazil Costa Rica. 60% of the people who grew over four child sex are Americans. When did this start happening. Well I think this as we again talked about during the break that this this predated. The Internet but I think with the Internet it has provided more of a platform for easier access and certainly easier connections. The nice thing is our legal -- take shape program as I mentioned we've got sixty some offices that that cover the globe. Has been. Has been just. Growing in in leaps and bounds and the partnerships that we have with those countries and others. Two and to be part of international task force is to address these crimes. Whether they are prosecuted. You know locally in those countries or we can we have hoped to bring them back here to the United States and extradite him. Those. That the cooperation there has been great the challenges though that we face is as. In any given some of these some of these countries some of them Third World countries the you think we don't have resources to tackle this problem they are even more limited. So the good thing though is we've got good strong relationships with all these countries to try to combat and are there any countries where it's legal. Two have sexual relations with a child. Not that I am aware of -- of child prostitution is legal in many countries but I'm not aware of that. So if you all are working Cason -- where in some country you can and connect with your legal counterparts. And they will do arrests. Well it depends the you know we have no we have no legal authority no law enforcement powers in these foreign countries. We have to rely solely on relationships and and liaison yen and the most types of things in order to hopefully convince the locals. To make an arrest stay with -- we'll be right back. Thanks very much Mike Anderson with the FBI head of the off this year for being our guest and you recently had the the head of the FBI. Visit us that's right director James Conley was here two weeks ago and I was very pleased that he. Specifically talked about child predators and are crimes against children program. And there's been a lot of discussion that in post 9/11 at the F -- it was more interest at a national security. And although that's still a super priority forests. Our criminal per am including crimes against children is his back stronger than ever stay with this and come back any time. Thank you so much Mike Anderson now let's go to the newsroom.