Phoenix — In support of Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) continues its commitment to combating human trafficking, especially trafficked children, as a top priority. In 2018 alone, AZDPS oversaw the rescue of 20 endangered, missing, abducted, abused, exploited or trafficked children. Of those, 13 were endangered runaways and one was a trafficking victim.
2019 has also been off to a successful start with two recent rescues highlighted below:
• On January 11, 2019, what started out as a narcotics investigation, led to the rescue of a 17-year-old girl who was being used to sell drugs and was being trafficked. Two people, Donald Jackson, 37 and Tennessee Jackson 37, both of Phoenix were arrested and booked into the Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail on charges of money laundering, narcotics offenses and sex trafficking.
• On January 13, 2019, troopers stopped and arrested Carlie Bentley, 49 of Kentucky, who drove to San Diego, CA to pick up a 14-year-old child with the purpose of engaging in sexual acts. This case is now being handled by the FBI’s San Diego office.
As part of its commitment to combating these offenses, AZDPS Trooper Rachel De La Torre coordinates statewide resources and training for the public, juvenile probation, victims of human trafficking, Arizona law enforcement and others on the subject of human trafficking and other child crimes.
Working out of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC), Trooper De La Torre also oversees the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program. This program provides law enforcement officers, prosecutors, child advocates and others who work closely with children the knowledge and skill to recognize victims of trafficking and to coordinate resources for assistance. Since the training was adopted in Arizona in 2014, over 700 have been trained statewide.
As always, if you See Something, Say Something. You can call (877) 2-SAVEAZ (877-272-8329) 24/7 or
National Human Trafficking Hotline:
• TEXT-“BeFree” (233733)
• LIVE CHAT- humantraffickinghotline.org
To learn more about what Arizona is doing to combat human trafficking visit: http://endsextrafficking.az.gov