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
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s superintendent attracts opponents

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi....

    April 17, 2014

  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Ducks Unlimited night set

    Cleveland County’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual “Sportsman Night” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Optimist Club Gym in Norman....

    April 17, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Fed says no to business help

    LEXINGTON — The federal government has turned down the state’s request for an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration following the Jan. 31 closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge over the Canadian River....

    April 17, 2014

  • History group to host local book signing event

    Mae Davenport Cox will sign copies of “Red Dirt, River and Rails: Early-Day Settlers to Southern Cleveland County” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center during ‘89er Day festivities....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014