HOUSTON - The Feds are fighting back against human trafficking in Houston!
"Houston isn't just a hub of human trafficking," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Ryan K. Patrick announced. "We're the hub of human trafficking prosecution."
Now a jaw-dropping, international case out of Cinco Ranch in Katy has led to a new model for how authorities can help human trafficking victims.
The 2016 case involved a couple who brought a woman over from Nigeria to be a nanny, but instead, essentially turned her into a slave!
"She worked in this home 24 hours a day, taking care of little children," Patrick explained. "She was forced to sleep on the floor between their beds. She was not given any provision of privacy, food, care-- there really wasn't anything. This is modern day slavery, and this is exactly what it looks like!"
A joint task force of 21 law enforcement agencies grew out of the case called the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance.
"And the agencies involved in this case, Federal and state, local agencies all involved to root out human trafficking that we have here in Houston," Patrick added.
Thanks to that alliance, assets were seized by the defendants in the case and delivered as over $121,000 in restitution to the victim.
"And we believe this is the first case of its kind in the country where with one check-- we were able to make this woman whole," Patrick said, adding that there's no way the agencies can erase or make up for the emotional trauma caused by the crime.
But the war on human traffickers continues!
"We need people in the community to let us know when they see things like this that they know are not right," Patrick pleaded.
So, even in your neighborhood....if you see something, say something!