Human Trafficking


NYC Teen Thespians Confront Human Trafficking

Sunday, March 15, 2015

An all-girls theater company performed at an event to get teens talking about how to detect and stop trafficking, as the state Assembly considers a bill to tackle the problem.



Six Arrested in NJ brothels Ring

Thursday, July 18, 2013

They were promised jobs as house cleaners and babysitters. But instead New Jersey officials say women from Mexico and other Latin American countries were forced into prostitution and served as many as 40 clients a day. 

New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced the arrests Thursday of 38-year-old Jose Cruz Romero-Flores and a crew that included his girlfriend and four other men. The six are charged with moving an unknown number of women through a brothels based in Lakewood and other states.
“Once the woman are brought into the United States, they are made to work what is called ‘the circuit,’ “ explained Hoffman. “Which is a number of brothels in New Jersey and surrounding states where they are shipped from brothel to brothel.”
The six were the first defendants to be charged under New Jersey’s new human trafficking law. 
Romero-Flores, also known as “Chato” was charged with first-degree human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime and third-degree promoting prostitution. The first degree charge of human trafficking carries a 20 year to life penalty, plus a criminal fine of $200,000. 
Two other defendants, Felix Rios-Martinez, 47, of Lakewood and Raul Romero-Castillo, 30 of Lakewood were charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking, second dwegree promoting organized street crime and third-degree promoting prostitution. 
Santos Lazaero Flores Cruz, 58, of Union City, and Haliro Bueno, 21, of Lakewood were each charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit human trafficking, second-degree promoting organized street crime and third-degree promoting prostitution.  
Odulia Bedran Trejo, 22 was charged with second-degree promoting organized street crime and third-degree promoting prostitution. 
Hoffman would not disclose how many women been rescued as a part of the arrest. He said the investigation, which includes brothels in New York, is still ongoing. 
His office is looking for other victims in this case and asked that anyone with information to call the 24-hour NJ Human Trafficking Hotline at 877-986-7534
Terri Langford I NJ Government Accountability Reporter New York Public Radio I New Jersey Public Radio I WNYC I WQXR 160 Varick Street, New York NY 10013
T: 718.490.5480 I E:



Human Trafficking: The Route Through Queens

Sunday, January 20, 2013

They arrive to Boston "fitting in" on a bus, a train or by car. But beneath the surface, is a world of sex, intimidation and crime. Phillip Martin from WGBH investigates the underground trade of human trafficking that often starts in Queens.

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Thousands of Visas for Victims of Trafficking Go Unused

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Victims of human trafficking crimes are not utilizing visas that allow them to live and work in the United States legally for four years according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In 2011, 967 victims applied for the visas and 557 were approved, along with 722 of their family members, far less than the cap allowed for.


The Takeaway

Stopping Human Trafficking on the Home Front

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A new report by the State Department says 27 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. Though the report names Libya, Iran, Myanmar, and Sudan as the worst offenders when it comes to human trafficking, the United States is not immune to the problem. Hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked in the U.S., and most of them are women and children. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has advocated for a solution to this problem, saying world leaders need to do more to combat it. But our guests say it's not just up to law enforcement and border control to prevent trafficking—hospitality and travel workers can be the first line of defense.