The Norman Transcript


January 9, 2013

Detective talks trafficking facts

FBI task force member provides child safety tips

NORMAN — Oklahoma City Police Detective and FBI task force member Robert Kemmet discussed human trafficking with the Cleveland County GOP Club on Tuesday, revealing surprising facts about human exploitation and some tactics of modern child predators.

Kemmet defined human trafficking as any operation in which humans are a commodity, saying that more than 90 percent of human trafficking in the state is labor-related and calling the state’s sex trafficking — and particularly the child sex trafficking market — “negligible.”

“Child prostitution in Oklahoma is negligible at best. Most operations in the state are transient, and Oklahoma as a destination simply doesn’t have the market for large-scale sex trafficking,” Kemmet said. “Oklahoma’s market for prostitution itself is not very big, comparatively, and when we have issues crop up, law enforcement is fully capable of responding quickly.”

The highest concentration of human trafficking and labor exploitation, Kemmet said, occurs in northwest Oklahoma, with the most large-scale operations going on in rural farms and ranches.

In addition to basic facts/figures, Kemmet detailed the major challenges law enforcement faces in dealing with trafficking cases, the unforeseen negative outcomes of intervention and tips on types of charities donors should avoid.

“(The task force) isn’t going to jump on labor cases because we’re almost victimizing labor exploitation victims by taking them into custody,” Kemmet said. “We’re walking a fine line, because if we go in and take down a major operation with hundreds and hundreds of ‘victims,’ only one will qualify for a testimony visa. The rest will be deported.

“Even those who do qualify for a visa are now left in a foreign country homeless and jobless and aren’t necessarily willing to testify against an employer who paid them more than they earned back home.

“What’s more, if we go in and shut down a big operation, we’re likely destroying jobs of innocent people who weren’t involved. So, everyone gets very negatively affected.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014