Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump's Mythical Crackdown on Sex Trafficking

No, there haven't been an "unprecedented" number of child sex-trafficking rings busted since Donald Trump took office.

At, sex-crime victims' advocate and author Liz Crokin accuses the mainstream media of "ignoring Trump's sex trafficking busts." In Crokin's reality, "authorities have arrested an unprecedented number of sexual predators involved in child sex trafficking rings in the United States" since Donald Trump took office on January 20. "There have been a staggering 1,500-plus arrests in one short month; compare that to less than 400 sex trafficking-related arrests in 2014 according to the FBI," Crokin writes.

This is, as Trump would put it, "fake news." Every part of it. For starters, the 2014 data she links to is far from a complete account of U.S. sex-trafficking arrests that year. It reflects incomplete state-level arrest numbers from just 26 U.S. states, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. It does not include all state sex-trafficking arrests, by far, nor does it include any sex trafficking arrests by federal agencies such as the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which make thousands of sex trafficking arrests annually (though far fewer trafficking indictments and convictions).

The idea that there have been "an unprecedented number" of sex traffickers arrested since Trump took office has similarly little basis in reality, and there's zero truth to the claim of law-enforcement busting up child sex-trafficking rings. Meanwhile, many of the arrests Crokin includes in her tally—arrests that include mostly women selling sex and men trying to engage in consensual adult prostitution—are part of annual sting operations, were the result of investigations n the works long before Trump took office, and/or had absolutely nothing to do with federal law-enforcement directives or activities. (That is, when we can check Crokin's sources; two of the pages she links to as evidence can't be found.)

Here are the arrests that Croklin credits as Donald Trump-brokered busts of pedophile trafficking rings:

As evidence of these arrests that Crokin doesn't think are being covered in the mainstream media, she links to news reports on ABC, NBC, and CBS news affiliates, describing events also covered widely by other media in their respective states or regions. The California sting was also reported by mainstream print and broadcast media across the country, as was the broader National Johns Suppression Initiative that resulted in the Texas arrests.

Photo Credit: screenshot/FBI/YouTube

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  • Pompey:何 Class Mothersmucker||

    Hey look, you're pretty good at this niche of journalism. Just do this.

  • chemjeff||

    Evidently pimping for Trump isn't considered a sex crime.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    "Look at me, I think facts are important."

    Get over yourself, ENB.

    Pinned to Liz Crokin's Twitter page is this video.

    She seems special.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    She is fucking nuts. Oh my goodness. I feel bad for her.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You still would, though.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    I may draw the line at PizzaGate believer.

  • Not a True MJG||

    My first reaction to the headline was, how could Trump be considered successful here when the Pizza cabal is still active?

  • SparktheRevolt||

    Wait what

    " I feel targeted more so than ever after I agreed to be involved in a project blowing the lid off of Pizzagate and Pedogate. "

  • SparktheRevolt||

    Wait what

    " I feel targeted more so than ever after I agreed to be involved in a project blowing the lid off of Pizzagate and Pedogate. "

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Did she say "Febroorury"??

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I don't have sound on, but I imagined she was saying this:

    "The hardest thing is deciding what I should tell you and what not to. But I guess I've got a while yet before you're old enough to even understand the vidoes. They're more for me at this point just so I can get it straight. Should I tell you about your father? Boy, that's a tough one. Will it affect your decision to send him here, knowing that he is you father? If you don't send Kyle, you can never be. God, a person can go crazy thinking about all this... I suppose I will tell you... I owe him that. Maybe it'll be enough if you know that, in the few hours we had together, we loved a lifetime's worth. "

  • Snort||

    The truth isn't important? How do you know what is true and what is a lie without looking a the facts? If you truly don't care about facts then I have a very special rock to sell you. If you stand just the right way and hold the rock in just the right position it will grant you eternal life. This is a bargain just for you! And as a bonus it cures all diseases known to man! No more Syphilis! Don't wait!. Send me all your money now!

  • Mainer2||

    "Taken" style sex trafficking may occur, but the idea that it is an epidemic is ludicrous. As the article illustrates, when you peel back one layer of hysteria, you find good old traditional pimpin' and whorin'. If runaways and poor women are taken advantage of, it's mainly because the trade is illegal and forced into the shadows.

    But you can't fight the hysteria of soccer moms who's view of the world is colored by prime time TV. Twice now I've seen sex trafficking portrayed as women in actual shipping containers being sent off to some foreign place, that is until the heroic Mark Harmon (it's always Mark Harmon) saves them at the last minute. People, that ain't reality.

  • Not a True MJG||

    you find good old traditional pimpin' and whorin'.

    Just like mama used to make!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yes, we're all, uh, "familiar" with your mama.

  • yet another dave||

    Pepperidge Farm remembers... old timey wholesome pimpin and whorin

  • chemjeff||

    And this is the crowd that libertarians are supposed to partner with in order to implement libertarian ideas.

    "We proudly celebrate locking up victimless sex workers, even as we lie about taking credit for it"

  • qjkxbmwvz||

    But don't you know? There's no such thing as victimless sex.

  • qjkxbmwvz||

    "National Johns Suppression Initiative"
    For when you want to suppress people, but you're too lazy for pretense.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I wondered where John's been lately.

  • Not a True MJG||

    "Help! Help! I'm being supperessed!"

  • Cyto||

    We need more in-depth reporting on this beat. Maggie McNeil was an excellent guest columnist. If nobody else is interested in a deep dive, maybe bring her back for more.

    Other areas being neglected:

    The "dumb and possibly disturbed guy who gets entrapped into a fake terrorist plot by the FBI" story. We used to get one of these quarterly.

    The "your right to record the police is still under assault" beat.

  • Cyto||

    Or how about the "indifferent and jaded jail staff force woman to give birth alone on a dirty concrete floor, Sheriff backs them fully" story. That's always good for a laugh.

    Ohh... here's a good one. "Cops sic attack dog on 82 year old woman for not following orders (that she may not have heard). Cops take to social media to defend their actions as perfectly reasonable."

    Holy crap. PINAC is just loaded down with nutpunches. Don't you guys at least have someone reading Carlos Miller and Radley Balko for ideas?

  • Cyto||

    I guess the point is: enough about politics. There's way more to the liberty intellectual market that expounding on why any one particular politician is bad. One or two political reporters is enough. Everyone else needs to be out working a deeper story on how freedom makes our lives better, or how government stepping on our freedom is making lives worse.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Ridiculous partisan claims, but it's what we've come to expect. Thanks for the report, ENB. Keep up the good work.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    I get the impression that all commercial sex (crime) is being statistically lumped into human trafficking/sex trafficking.

  • josh||

    you're not alone....

  • Cyto||

    included zero sex-trafficking arrests,

    You are using a very dated definition of sex trafficking. The new definition is "things having to do with prostitution".

    I know, I know. We all conjure up images of 14 year old asian immigrants smuggled against their will into prostitution rings via container ships when we hear "sex trafficking", but that isn't how the term is used any more. Probably because there just weren't enough actual cases of that sort in the US to make a saleable story. So now anything to do with the sex trade is "trafficking".

    That doesn't mean the Trumpy isn't full of crap. Just not quite so crappy as alleged.

  • Zeb||

    I think that the real full of crap part is imagining that any change in numbers has anything to do with Trump at this point.

  • Cyto||

    Hey, parade jumping is a valid strategy for power-grabbing. Just find anything positive and jump in front of it and get your picture made.

    It is Trump's go-to move. It is how he brought those Carrier jobs back. And that car factory. Just jump in front and loudly take credit.

    But then it was Obama's go-to move too. Remember how he historically ended the war in Iraq (by adhering to the timetable agreed to by the Bush administration?) Or how he gave us gay marriage? ( remember the rainbow white house, despite the fact that the administration had nothing to do with the actions of the court, and despite the fact that Obama had been personally and publicly opposed to gay marriage).

    The real difference with Trump is just how transparently crass he is.

    With Obama everything was managed and crafted. With Bill Clinton, he was so slick and likeable that he could pull off anything. But Trump's style is to just walk out and claim the most ridiculous things in the most blunt and transparent language possible - kinda daring you to call him on it. I have no idea how it works for him, but somehow it seems to be working.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The whole Sex Trafficking panic is nonsense; a return of the White Slavery panic of the late Victorian era with the serial numbers filed off. All the stories I've read pushing it are whack full of ridiculously inflated numbers that fail even the slightest scrutiny. I fail to see that the Trump administration's following the pattern constitutes news. OF COURSE Trump's claims about fighting Sex Trafficking are bullshit. EVERBODY'S claims about fighting Sex Trafficking are bullshit.

  • Cyto||

    Yeah, I remember we had a discussion around here about 20k women being trafficked for the Super Bowl in Tampa.

    Now, notwithstanding the fact that due to a confluence of customer bases, the Tampa area is well-stocked with local sex workers, the notion that 20k sex workers could possibly be brought in to service an event that would have at most 80k people total coming for the event? That's silly. Even if every single person involved - players, fans, coaches, press - if all of them visited prostitutes it still wouldn't be enough to justify that number of sex workers travelling to Tampa.

    But the anti-trafficking crowd was undaunted and proud of their numbers. And nobody who reported their claims in6 the press bothered to put the 30 seconds of thought it would have required to know that those numbers could not possibly be true.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Y'know, there are websites that will sell you comics about White Slavery in which women are brutalized, branded, and sold, all while wearing an absolute minimum of clothing. And, frankly, the people who buy such comics and wank with them strike me as healthier than the gibbering idiots who have invested so much in Sex Trafficking being REAL.

  • Garth Bigelow||

    Slow news day?
    Bravo for giving attention to fake news, it's writer and website no one would have otherwise ever been aware of.

  • Carl_b||

    Why hasn't Ms. Croklin turned her spotlight on Milo Yumyumcouscous and his pro-NAMBLA kabal yet?!

  • MSimon||

    This is supposed to be proof that #PizzGate is true and the authorities are working their way up the chain of perps.

    If nothing like that happens it will be proof of a super cover up.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Trump's Mythical Crackdown on Sex Trafficking
    No, there haven't been an "unprecedented" number of child sex-trafficking rings busted since Donald Trump took office.

    Never waste a crisis a politician once said.
    Especially if it is a fake one.
    Otherwise our socialist slavers oppressing us will have no justification for advancing their police state and extorting more money from us.

  • Snort||

    What's the saying? "Statics don't lie. statisticians do". Granted Elizabeth Brown sounds like a liberal when she goes for the frontal lobes of the brain, not the reptilian brain. However she is simply pointing out this fact: You have been lied to. Doesn't that bother you?

  • Human Earthling||

    "...and there's zero truth to the claim of law-enforcement busting up child sex-trafficking rings."

    From the link you provided above -
    "Operation Reclaim and Rebuild was widely successful in its endeavor with 28 commercially, sexually-exploited children..."

  • suzanne keeler||
    ....and there's more. How are we supposed to make comments that mean anything when we would have to do hours of research to know where the truth lies? Unbiased reporting is dead.

  • Legacy||

    Here are the arrests that Croklin credits as Donald Trump-brokered busts of pedophile trafficking rings:

    "478 people arrested in a statewide California sting that included zero sex-trafficking arrests,......."

    So should we ignore 28 rescued children being sexually exploited and 27 adults identified as victims of sex trafficking?

    Sheriff: 474 arrests in Calif. human trafficking sting; 28 children rescued

    Authorities say 474 people have been arrested in a multiday sting operation focused on human trafficking in California.

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Tuesday the arrests came after a three-day operation conducted by 30 law enforcement agencies across the state last week.

    Investigators say as part of the sting, undercover officers posed as prostitutes on street corners and also posted advertisements online.

    Officials say three dozen people were arrested on suspicion of being pimps.

    They say officers also rescued 28 children who were being sexually exploited, and 27 adults they identified as victims of sex trafficking.

  • Legacy||

    "178 men arrested in Texas for soliciting prostitution from an undercover cop posing as a consenting adult sex worker. The stings were part of a nationwide "Johns Suppression Initiative" organized annually by Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Tom Dart."

    The entire operation did in fact arrest 29 traffickers and rescued six underage girls and 86 adults they say were lured into sex trafficking.

    Nine people were arrested in Lincoln on Feb. 3 as a part of the National Johns Suppression Initiative aimed at reducing sex trafficking, the Lincoln Police Department said Thursday.

    The nationwide operation netted the arrests of 723 would-be sex buyers and 29 traffickers across the country, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Illinois.

    The operation ran Jan. 18-Feb. 5 and included nearly 30 law enforcement agencies in 15 states. Agencies rescued six underage girls and 86 adults they say were lured into sex trafficking, the sheriff's office said.

  • antiseptic||

    So, no data of the "actual" sex trafficking busts. Completely worthless article.

  • BeaDurham||

    "142 men were arrested for attempting to pay consenting adult women..." - that's not what the article you linked says or even remotely implies. But I get it, we live in an age where 'journalists' easily take advantage of the fact that people are too lazy to actually read for themselves.

    Another shill for the pimp lobby. There is a reason that distinguishing between victims of trafficking and so-called 'consensual sex workers' is difficult.

    Why don't you butcher a piece on that?


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