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Combating Human Trafficking During Super Bowl LIV

The goal of the collaborative effort by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force, the United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and Miami-Dade, Miami Beach and City of Miami Police Departments as well as other local law enforcement agencies, the local Super Bowl Host Committee and the Women’s Fund Miami-Dade,was to disrupt and end potential human trafficking activities before and during the Super Bowl while also raising awareness about human trafficking, dispelling its myths and informing the public on how to report it.

“Trafficking survivors and other experts had previously warned us that our community would attract human traffickers that look to take advantage of the economic impact and influx of visitors produced by the Super Bowl itself,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “That is why we joined forces with local, state and federal agencies and community organizations to tackle this threat successfully as one team”.

As a result of our collaborative law enforcement efforts, we were able to recover 20 victims of Human Trafficking:

  • Four victims identified themselves as residents of Miami-Dade or Broward Counties.
  • Sixteen victims were from other states and four foreign countries.

Of the five human trafficking charges filed against individuals, three were filed as federal crimes and two were filed as violations of Florida law.

Additionally, eight buyers, or “Johns”, were arrested, and 34 accomplices and/or possible traffickers were also arrested on human trafficking-related charges.

We engaged in a robust and innovative awareness campaign which involved critical stakeholders from local and national community organizations, including private agencies, to help raise awareness and bring resources to our community that would assist us in the fight against human trafficking.

This effort included a marketing campaign placing billboards and advertisements at key locations around Miami-Dade County to inform the public on what human trafficking looks like and what to do if they see something they suspect is human trafficking.

We helped provide training and information to:

  • Super Bowl volunteers on how to recognize human trafficking and contact the appropriate authorities
  • the hospitality industry and their personnel
  • physicians and hospitals on how to recognize the trafficking red flags visible in their practice or emergency rooms
  • non-profit organizations that provide community outreach
  • Uber and Lyft to train their drivers to recognize signs of trafficking activity
  • displayed informative videos at local airports for viewing by incoming flyers
  • churches and congregations
  • and students from schools and universities as.

“Investments in creating greater community awareness are not just for the Super Bowl but can be important assets for the future,” added State Attorney Fernandez Rundle. “This united effort has not only led to arrests and recoveries, but has also provided us with information and leads that help us continue to successfully stop human trafficking in our community.”

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