PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Animal trafficking victims are
actuality branded and awash for sex
in the Tampa Bay area, WFTS board found.
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Those alive with victims told
I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern
those abiding arrangement can generally abide with trafficking victims alike afterwards they are rescued.
“It’s like branding cattle,” said Cpl. Alan Wilkett, who leads Pasco County’s animal trafficking assignment force. “It’s an buying mark. Branding is back somebody — a pimp or a baron — will put his mark or his attribute or his assurance on his victims through some array of tattoo.”
Wilkett said assembly apperceive how to atom the red flags of addition actuality awash for sex.
“Some of the things we’re seeing are pictures — maybe a lion’s arch or it may be the artery name of the pimp who’s active a artery track,” said Wilkett. “It could be numbers. Using assertive numbers, like 16 because ‘P’ is the 16th letter of the alphabet — it agency I’m actuality pimped.”
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Wilkett told the I-Team he aloof saw the boom afresh at a bounded gas station.
“A babe at the banknote annals with an XVI active from abaft her ear and bottomward her close — 16,” said Wilkett. “Looked out the window and there’s her pimp, sitting in the vehicle. So this is happening.”
In some trafficking cases, the boom could be a barcode.
“These barcodes are accounting in such a way by these tattoos and boom artists, that if you browse that with your smartphone it’ll acquaint you she’s $25 or she’s $30,” said Wilkett. “The one that I saw was $30.”
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Wilkett said the one he saw was on a victim in her aboriginal 20s blockage in an breadth safehouse.
“Her acknowledgment to that was that’s what I’m worth. I am account $30,” said Wilkett.
Natasha Nascimento, the founding controlling administrator of Redefining Refuge, a Florida non-profit alive with victims of adolescent sex trafficking, said she’s apparent accouchement branded and a majority of the tattoos are done professionally.
“The youngest adolescent I’ve apparent — I accept she was apparently about about 11-years-old — she had dollar signs… tattooed assimilate both of her eyelids,” said Nascimento.
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Nascimento said there’s a charge to address to the boom artists abaft the branding.
“If somebody is advancing in there with a adolescent and cogent you what boom the adolescent is activity to get, if it’s a barcode, money symbols, names, things like ‘Daddy,’ I would apparently alarm in an corruption report, is what I would do,” said Nascimento.
Redefining Refuge has formed with the Tampa Bay breadth boom artisan association to advice awning up tattoos for adolescent sex trafficking survivors as allotment of the accretion and healing process.
“Think about that. Accouchement in a aboriginal apple country in the United States of America actuality branded like cattle,” said Nascimento. “That’s what’s accident and it’s accident today.”
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If you accept you are a victim of Animal Trafficking or doubtable an developed is a victim of animal trafficking, amuse appointment the
National Animal Trafficking Hotline,
or alarm them at 1-888-3737-888. If you doubtable a adolescent is a victim, amuse alarm the
Florida Corruption Hotline
This adventure was originally appear by Kylie McGivern at WFTS.
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