Modern-Day Witch Hunt

Prostitution is now apparently a federal crime

Art by Norma Jean Almodovar

Art by Norma Jean Almodovar

Remember when we were all discussing the silly idea that the House had come up with in their version of the TVPRA? The one that proposed that the FBI should be fighting prostitution as it is “synonymous with trafficking”? Well, turns out that legislation never needed to be passed. The FBI is currently fighting prostitution in a nation-wide sweep under the guise of fighting child prostitution. It is a modern-day witch-hunt. How many consenting adult women’s lives have been ruined by these costly and ineffective arrests?

…some 17 FBI agents and plainclothes officers were struggling to arrest two kicking and screaming young women…

Seventeen to two??

…one of the women screamed at the top of her lungs, then rolled around on the floor hyperventilating…

Wow.

…the FBI, Boston police, and State Police said they were at the hotel conducting an undercover investigation as part of “Operation Cross Country,” a nationwide initiative of the US Justice Department aimed at cracking down on child prostitution…

Didn’t the Justice Department come out against the demands of the House version?

“Generally, these things can be investigated and taken down quietly, but sometimes circumstances outside our control occur,” said Russell Kleber, a spokesman for the FBI’s Boston office, adding that the arrests were “aimed at combating sex trafficking of children.”

The goal of the sweeps, being conducted in over 30 cities, is to target pimps, rescue juveniles, and gather intelligence, according to law enforcement officials.

The Boston sting led to the arrests of five women, ages 19 to 33, who allegedly showed up at the Marriott after agreeing to provide sex for up to $300 an hour to undercover officers. The officers had responded to advertisements posted on the Craigslist website, according to Boston police reports.

Apparently as of last October they had arrested 600 adult prostitutes in this “sweep”.  According to a report from 1987 (quoted in this article– I have a copy of the actual paper if anyone wants one), it cost police about $2000 per arrest. That’s $1.2 million 1987 dollars. Extrapolate that to today’s dosh, and then add in how much more the FBI officers presumably make than the local and state police, and you’ve got a hefty sum of cash being spent on arresting adults engaging in consensual activity. Shouldn’t they be investigating other things? Like terrorism or fraud, perhaps?

This “sweep” is clearly a modern-day witch hunt, persecuting women.  The house seems to have gotten their way. Will this continue under Obama?

Meanwhile, working folks, beware of Craigslist. They’re out to get you.

14 Responses

  1. This is horrible. I’ve posted about it now as well.

  2. I just did the calculations. That’s $2.2 million in today’s dollars. Seriously, seventeen agents for five sex workers total arrested?

    Thanks for sharing. I blogged about this, too.

  3. More from the article:

    “Generally, these things can be investigated and taken down quietly, but sometimes circumstances outside our control occur,” said Russell Kleber, a spokesman for the FBI’s Boston office, adding that the arrests were “aimed at combating sex trafficking of children.”

    Oh right, like sometimes things go wrong and the ADULT women you’re arresting won’t take any bullshit and they resist a wrongful arrest? Good for those girls for causing a scene! Shame on Marriott for cooperating with this. They won’t be getting any of my money anymore…

    More:

    “In this case, in the last arrest of the night there was a safety issue, and the safety of our officers required intervention.”

    The safety of your officers? You mean the 17-to-2 officers with GUNS? Because women who have sex are so fucking dangerous right? What a bunch of pansy-ass sissies!!! I hope all those girls plea not guilty and force these cases to be put before a jury.

  4. […] in FBI sting For your daily dose of fucked up, I give you Operation Cross Country. SWOP-LV on Bound, not Gagged posted about this. When I wrote about this on my personal blog, I didn’t realize it had […]

  5. “Generally, these things can be investigated and taken down quietly, but sometimes circumstances outside our control occur,” said Russell Kleber, a spokesman for the FBI’s Boston office, adding that the arrests were “aimed at combating sex trafficking of children.”

    Since when does forcibly handcuffing and incarcerating sex workers combat sex trafficking of children, or any form of human trafficking for that matter? Exploiting the issue of sex trafficking to promote and enforce oppressive laws against sex workers is getting really old…

  6. SWOP-LV wrote:
    “Apparently as of last October they had arrested 600 adult prostitutes in this ‘sweep’. ”

    I’m curious as to how many cases of child prostitution and actual sex trafficking these sweeps stopped. Also, I wonder how many actual traffickers were arrested. Probably, much fewer than the amount of sex workers arrested. This is so typical. The vast majority of people being arrested under so-called anti-trafficking policies and law enforcement practices are sex workers, not the actual traffickers. There’s clearly an ulterior motive.

  7. >>SWOP-LV wrote:
    “Apparently as of last October they had arrested 600 adult prostitutes in this ’sweep’. >>

    I”m sure that is teaching the traffickers of children a big lesson. But, then again, this is the country that thought the key to stopping Osama in Afghanistan was by invading Iraq. I guess from the government and law enforcement’s perspective who cares if the alleged target is missed as long as the war continues and the money rolls in to the companies and agencies that profit.

  8. More in Chicago:

    44 arrested in FBI prostitution investigation
    February 23, 2009 1:41 PM | 25 Comments
    Forty-four people were arrested on prostitution charges in the Chicago area over the weekend as part of a nationwide FBI investigation into child prostitution.

    The arrests, in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will Counties, were part of an initiative titled “Operation Cross Country” that resulted in 571 arrests in 29 cities, the FBI said in a release. The investigation resulted in the recovery of 48 minors who were engaged in prostitution.

    Of those arrested in the Chicago area, 5 were charged with running prostitution operations, 34 were charged with prostitution, and 5 were customers, according to the release. No minors were found.

    More than 100 local police officers were involved, including the county police and officers from these communities: Alsip, Arlington Heights, Bensenville, Clarendon Hills, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Elk Grove Village, Evanston, Glenview, Glenwood, Grayslake, Gurnee, Highland Park, Lombard, Melrose Park, Mt. Prospect, Mundelein, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oak Lawn, Prospect Heights, Richton Park, Rosemont, Sauk Village, Skokie, Westmont and Willowbrook.

    Link to story

    Link to what Jane Brazen of SWOP Chicago is saying

  9. And another 68 arrested in Las Vegas.

    The girl looked young in her CraigsList add, like so many, and that’s why she’s here. . .”We identified and rescue two victims of child prostitution. And we look at that as a huge success,” Cassell said. . .In all 68 prostitutes, 3 Johns and 2 pimps were taken off the streets in Las Vegas this weekend. . .

    68 womens’ lives ruined.

    The object is to arrest those pimps, and the johns and adult prostitutes. But the children police take in custody may have other options – there’s a chance they can be counseled and cared-for in such a way that they leave the life. . .

    They may have other options? I wonder what that qualifier means. Those options will be harshly limited now that they’ve been placed in the system as juvenile criminals.

    But if police have to lock-them-up in order to get them off the streets, that’s what they’ll do.

    This is wrong on so many levels! Since when did police become the social workers? Wouldn’t funding be better spent on early start and after-school programs to help teens? How about also dealing with child abuse and domestic violence?

  10. Did they arrest minors in California? My understanding was that child prostitution was decriminalized in CA as of September. As in, they’re not supposed to go into the criminal juvenile system, just receive social services instead. Can the FBI arrest kids anyway?

  11. The whole fucking rescue the children from prostitution via this angle is total shit. Same geniuses that would advocate catching the man eating shark via nets that drown dolphins. Well, as long as they get their picture taken with the shark, any shark,

    Bottom line for this war on trafficking of children. Photo Ops, funding for agencies and police, statistics, press conferences and statistics to use for TVPRA money.

    If they truly wanted to stop the problem of child prostitution they would spend the money and effort to address the causes that create the dynamic. But that approach isn’t flashy, doesn’t get the public attention, doesn’t fall under a glory filled war on something. Can’t be Sonny Crockett if you spend the money on dealing with the causes.

    Arrest and incarceration as rescue and freedom from abuse. Once again, those that have no fear of being arrested are the first ones to advocate arrest as the first step in healing and recovery.

  12. […] far, even after spending as much time at RenegadeEvolution as possible, and lurking in places like Bound, Not Gagged, and any where else I am kindly pointed.  Finding “101″ information is challenging, […]

  13. “Operation Cross Country IV” Link to yesterday’s FBI press release.

    http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel09/crosscountry_102609.htm

    Because the FBI cares so much about women and girls…

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