In shocking news, the U.S. government is apparently looking into claims that Mike S. Jeffries, the former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., trafficked male models for sex.
New York court records show that federal officials have called together a grand jury to look for signs of a sex trafficking ring.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is in charge of the investigation. HSI is part of the Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The CCHT is a DHS-wide effort made up of 16 supporting offices and parts. It brings together the efforts of all 16 offices and parts that work to stop human trafficking.
As part of its Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking program, the FBI also investigates and brings charges against people who are trafficked. The agency bases its findings on understanding trauma and putting the needs of victims first.
Another important group in the fight against human trafficking is the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU) of the Department of Justice. The HTPU is in charge of prosecuting crimes related to human trafficking, such as sex trafficking. It also makes sure that criminal networks that meet are prosecuted quickly across districts.
Investigators are looking into Jeffries, which is a big step forward in the U.S.’s continued fight against human trafficking. Because the crime is so complicated, victims often can’t figure out who they are, and traffickers often don’t get caught.
But the fight against human trafficking is picking up speed thanks to the work of groups like the ICE, FBI, and HTPU, as well as the help of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and victim-service providers.
What evidence will be found and what the result of the case will be are still unknown as the investigation into Jeffries continues.
There is one thing that is clear, though: U.S. officials are taking the accusations seriously and are working hard to catch those who traffic people.