The Norman Transcript

Local news

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
Local news
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. Living in a state where one in four deaths are due to heart ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Crime news

    Norman man charged for possession of child porn A Norman man was charged with possession of juvenile pornography after law enforcement tracked an IP address that child porn had been downloaded from....

    July 25, 2014

  • Shop couple charged again

    A Norman couple whose felony charges were dropped last year for intent to distribute synthetic marijuana out of their aromatherapy shop were charged again Thursday in Cleveland County District Court. Dennis Kirby England, 42, and Christie ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Norman native reflects on winning Emmy Award

    Norman native Kevin Hurley won an Emmy Award last month for his work as a producer on Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show. Hurley has come a long way from home, but still remembers his Norman roots. NTown caught up with him to pick his brain ...

    July 25, 2014