3 Local Stories related to Human Trafficking

From: Jessica
Sent on: Thursday, November 26, 2009 2:19 PM
VASMS Members,

I wanted to share a few recent stories with you regarding human trafficking in our communities in NOVA. For those who wonder if this problem exists here, these stories show that it does.

When we compare these stories to our own lives, we see that we sure do have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and a lot of reasons to continue our hard work for those victimized by human trafficking in our communities.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for your continued care and hard work!

Best,

Jessica

-----------------------------------------

1)

The Blotter
By: FREEMAN KLOPOTT
Examiner Staff Writer
November 26, 2009

3 alleged gang members indicted on murder charges

A federal grand jury has indicted three alleged MS-13 gang members on murder charges related to the shooting death of a Maryland pimp as he tried to sell a prostitute in Alexandria.

The arrests of 21-year-olds Eris Arguera and Alcides Umana, and 28-year-old Adolfo Portillo, were first reported by The Examiner last month. According to court documents, the three men lured 40-year-old Carlos Luna to Alexandria by setting up a tryst with one of Luna's prostitutes. When he arrived, the three men allegedly jumped into Luna's car, robbed him and shot him to death.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime/The-Blotter-8586727-73730417.html

2)

Executive accused of planning night of sex with young girl
By: FREEMAN KLOPOTT
Examiner Staff Writer
November 19, 2009

An executive with a global aviation consulting company has been accused of trying to have sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl he met on the Internet who turned out to be an undercover Alexandria detective.

David L. Beckerman is the vice president of market intelligence for OAG Aviation Solutions, which provides airline companies around the world with market and travel analysis. The 41-year-old from Alexandria is often quoted in company releases such as one sent Monday describing worldwide growth in airline capacity.

Hours after the press release went out, Beckerman allegedly drove to a Dunkin' Donuts in Alexandria to meet the teenage girl he thought he had been talking to through Yahoo Messenger since late July, court documents said. Instead, Beckerman was taken into custody. He is being held without bail until his Friday arraignment. There was no attorney listed for him in court records.

OAG declined to comment Wednesday.

On July 31, an Alexandria detective started chatting with Beckerman, telling him she was 13-year-old Jordan Stephens, the detective wrote in a sworn statement. Over the following months, Stephens had a birthday and Beckerman discussed her parents, her school uniform and classes. Eventually, the conversation turned sexual.
At one point, the detective swore, Beckerman wrote, "I was feeling a little guilty today ... about how young you are and telling myself this is totally inappropriate." He added, "When you're 18, I can take you to St. Maarten or St. Barts and we'll entwine on the beach."

By Nov. 5, they were talking about meeting, the statement said. Beckerman reportedly wrote he could pick the girl up and take her to his house for "spaghetti and sex," or maybe just play Monopoly, the detective wrote.
After he was arrested Monday, police searched Beckerman's Alexandria home. Inside, they found a table set with a Scrabble board and two candles.

Beckerman also reportedly gave police a written statement, court documents said. In it he reportedly wrote, "I have a very rich and enjoyable life. I would like to restore that as much as possible and need to understand why I risked that richness in pursuit of something fleeting, dangerous and potentially harmful to an innocent minor."

[address removed]

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime/Executive-accused-of-planning-night-of-sex-with-young-girl-8552556-70387412.html

3) NOTE from JEssica: We know that high-level and well-off Diplomatic/World Bank/etc. employees enslave domestic servants, so I'm not sure how this will help. But here it is for your review. And, will the U.S. Dept. of State do anything to the senior diplomats who commit human trafficking? This is a recurring issue in NOVA, and it needs to stop!

State Department adds restrictions to diplomats bringing servants into the U.S.
By: FREEMAN KLOPOTT
Examiner Staff Writer
November 20, 2009

Diplomats below the rank of minister no longer will be able to bring domestic servants into the United States without being able to show they can afford to pay them a prevailing wage, U.S. State Department officials told anti-human-trafficking groups during a closed meeting Thursday, The Examiner has learned.

The restriction is just one in a series of new guidelines diplomats will be required to follow if they want to bring laborers into the United States. Since 2000, there have been at least 42 documented allegations of diplomats engaged in the human trafficking of their servants, many in the Washington area, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall, who accredits foreign diplomats and arranges diplomatic visits to the White House, and Undersecretary for Global Affairs Maria Otero informed the anti-human-trafficking groups of the changes Thursday.
The new guidelines, which also require diplomats to pay their servants using checks or direct deposit so payments can be traced, have already been issued to consular offices, a State Department source said. The guidelines will also require embassy chiefs to personally approve the servants their employees wish to bring with them.

"It's encouraging to see State Department officials beyond the human trafficking office mobilizing to fight abuse of domestic servants by diplomats, which is human trafficking," said Mark Lagon, former director of the department's human trafficking office and current head of anti-human-trafficking nonprofit Polaris Project. Lagon was one of more than a dozen nonprofit representatives who attended Thursday's meeting.

But, Lagon said, "the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Will there be any action by State if it is found that diplomats are complicit in human trafficking in the future?"

In July, the State Department said in a report required by Congress that it would place the onus of monitoring the relationship between diplomats and the household workers they've often abused on the embassy chiefs who have in some cases turned a blind eye. The report also indicated the department remained inflexible on diplomatic immunity, which has hampered Justice Department investigations into abuse.

"In light of the immunity enjoyed by diplomatic personnel," the report said, "the department is not in a position to directly monitor the actual daily treatment of domestic workers by diplomats."

[address removed]

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime/State-Department-adds-restrictions-to-diplomats-bringing-servants-into-the-U_S_-8559119-70570032.html

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