ICE HSI probe results in Orange County man's 50 year-life sentence for sexually assaulting a toddler and posting pictures of assault
#ICE; #HSI; #SexualAssault; #Probe; #ChildExploitationTaskForce
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A 24-year old Buena Park man was sentenced today in California Superior Court to the maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting a two-year-old girl while babysitting her in 2016, and later posting pictures of the assault online.
Image credit: Twitter handle
Arthur William Callender was convicted on April 1 of two felony counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10.
The case is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles and the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force.
Image credit: Twitter handleThe evidence presented at trial showed Callender used a yahoo email address to post and share images of the toddler on the internet so that online users could publicly comment on and trade the images. Through database and social media searches, HSI investigators matched various account profiles and online postings to identify the defendant. Following a search executed at his residence in October 2016, HSI special agents arrested him based on evidence from his personal cell phone coupled with statements he made to the agents.
“With today’s sentencing we have removed this predator from our community and sent a resounding message that we are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks to exploit our nation’s children, said David A. Prince, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Los Angeles. “Child pornography, when it’s released on the internet, lives on forever to haunt the innocent children whose abuse is depicted in the images, and brings unspeakable pain to their parents and families, knowing that untold strangers are exploiting their worst experiences for their own perverse pleasure.”
The Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, led by HSI Los Angeles, collaborates with law enforcement partners on child abuse investigations and apprehends child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators, child molesters, and online predators. The Task Force employs the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children through the use of websites, chat rooms, newsgroups, and peer-to-peer trading. The mission is to target these sophisticated child predators with the goal of making the Internet a safer environment for children.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1–866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802–872–6199. Hearing-impaired users can call TTY 802–872–6196.
This case was prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Unit.
The story first published by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
#ICE; #HSI Canberra; CoccaineSeizure; #Investigation; #Australia
SYNDEY — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Canberra provided the Australian Border Force (ABF) with information that resulted in the seizure of 552 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $248 million. The operation leading to the seizure began in September 2020 following information from HSI on a suspected shipment containing drugs destined for Australia.
HSI Canberra provided Australian authorities with details on the possibility of narcotics smuggled into Australia concealed as bananas from Brazil. The container was identified and inspected by the ABF on Sept. 21 and held for further investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). ABF officers identified anomalies within the approximately 275 boxes in the shipment that contained banana pulp, and upon closer examination, ultimately discovered cocaine hidden within the banana pulp bags.
“This joint investigation demonstrates the importance of strong international partnerships when it comes to dismantling transnational criminal organizations,” said ICE Canberra Attaché Adam Parks. “By working together, we were able to swiftly gather crucial information on the smuggling of cocaine through a shipment of fruit to Australia. I commend HSI Brazil and our Australian partners their professionalism, devotion, and unrelenting efforts on targeting organizations and individuals involved in these major transnational crimes.”
In the two weeks following the detection, HSI Canberra, the AFP, the ABF, and the New South Wales Police Force monitored the narcotics and conducted additional investigative steps in furtherance of the case. The joint investigation led to the execution of search warrants on Oct 16, when officers seized mobile phones, a laptop, a case of green stones suspected to be emeralds, and five one-kilogram silver ingots. The investigation also resulted in the arrest of a 68-year-old man from north Sydney.
The investigation leading to these enforcement actions was worked jointly between HSI, the AFP, and the ABF, with support from HSI Brasilia and the National Targeting Center — Investigations.
On Oct. 17, AFP also arrested a 43-year-old Carlingford woman for her alleged involvement in the importation of approximately 117 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of latex gloves. The information leading to this arrest was developed in July 2020, when HSI special agents and Border Enforcement Security Task Force officers in Los Angeles inspected a shipping container of latex gloves and concrete Besser blocks bound for Sydney. During the search, agents and officers identified 12 cardboard boxes with 47 individually wrapped clear plastic bags of a crystalline substance that was determined to be 117 kilograms of methamphetamine. The methamphetamine was seized in the United States by HSI Los Angeles. The shipment continued its scheduled route to Sydney, where Australian authorities awaited its arrival and subsequently launched the operation leading to the arrest. This was an HSI-led investigation with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and AFP.
The HSI International Operations Division is the Department of Homeland Security’s largest investigative presence overseas. Division personnel serve as liaisons to governments and law enforcement agencies across the globe and work side-by-side with foreign law enforcement on HSI investigations. HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats.
The story first published by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
#Washington, #DHS; #ICE; #ImmigrationLaws; #SantuaryPolicies
Washington, Oct 16 (Canadian-Media): The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Thursday the conclusion of a week-long targeted enforcement operation that resulted in the apprehension of more than 170 at-large aliens throughout the U.S., where sanctuary policies have largely prohibited the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the arrest of criminal aliens.
Image credit: Twitter handle
ICE officers assigned to field offices in Seattle, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. conducted the enforcement actions Oct. 3 through Oct. 9. The enforcement actions focused on aliens subject to removal who were arrested for crimes but were released by state or local law enforcement agencies despite having active immigration detainers in place. More than 80% percent of aliens arrested had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges at the time of the arrest.
“Last fiscal year, 86 percent of people arrested by ICE had criminal convictions or pending charges. ICE focuses its resources on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety. The men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every day to keep these individuals off the streets,” said Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf. “The Department will continue to carry out lawful enforcement actions in order to keep our communities safe, regardless of whether or not we have cooperation from state and local officials. Politics will not come before safety when enforcing the law and keeping our citizens safe.”
“ICE continues to protect communities by taking criminal aliens off the streets regardless of any locality’s cooperation policies — which is part of our Congressionally mandated mission,” said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tony H. Pham. “Officers and agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are sworn federal law enforcement officers who enforce U.S. immigration laws created by Congress to keep this country safe.”
During these recent enforcement actions, ICE officers identified, targeted, and arrested multiple criminal aliens who were previously released from local and state law enforcement custody despite having lawful immigration detainers lodged with local law enforcement officials. In the New York City area alone, officers arrested nearly 50 unlawfully present individuals with criminal histories that include sexual assault, sex crime, assault, robbery, larceny, family neglect, and DUI.
ICE arrested the following individuals as part of the enforcement actions:
In FY 2019, ICE arrested individuals with more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs. ICE continues to target criminal aliens and other public safety and national security threats every day.
ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE takes many factors into account when targeting and arresting individuals, including their criminal and immigration history.
Sanctuary policies restrict most forms of cooperation with federal immigration authorities and vastly impede ICE’s ability to work with partner agencies, according to ICE officials, requiring ICE to arrest at-large criminal aliens in the communities, instead of a secure, jail environment.
ICE maintains that cooperation with local law enforcement is essential to protecting public safety, and the agency aims to work cooperatively with local jurisdictions to ensure that criminal aliens are not released into U.S. communities to commit additional crimes.
First published in Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security
#UN; #Corruption; #Law; #CrimePrevention
UN, Oct 15 (Canadian-Media): Corruption is not only a crime but immoral and the “ultimate betrayal” of public trust, the UN Secretary-General has said, calling on everyone to work together and stamp out the global scourge, in all its forms.
The UN says that corruption is criminal, immoral and the ultimate betrayal of public trust. Image credit: UN News/Daniel Dickinson
In a statement issued on Thursday, Secretary-General António Guterres underlined that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, corruption was proving to be even more damaging in its impact on the most vulnerable.
‘New opportunities’ for exploitation
“The response to the virus is creating new opportunities to exploit weak oversight and inadequate transparency, diverting funds away from people in their hour of greatest need,” the Secretary-General said.
Corruption during the pandemic can seriously undermine good governance globally, and send the world even further off-track in in its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he added.
There are also very direct risks to health: “Unscrupulous merchants peddle faulty products such as – defective ventilators, poorly manufactured tests or counterfeit medicines”, said Mr. Guterres, noting that collusion among those who control supply chains has led to outrageous price hikes, skewing the market and denying many people life-saving treatment.
The UN will continue to prioritize transparency and accountability, in and beyond the COVID-19 response, the UN chief pledged.
Verify suppliers, determine fair prices
The Secretary-General called on Governments to be careful and not act in haste, making sure to vet suppliers, and ensure fair pricing of essential goods as supply chains continue to be under strain.
He also urged everyone to join hands against corrupt and exploitative acts.
“We must work together to stop such thievery and exploitation by clamping down on illicit financial flows and tax havens; tackling the vested interests that benefit from secrecy and corruption; and exercising utmost vigilance over how resources are spent nationally”, urged Mr. Guterres.
We must create more robust systems for accountability, transparency and integrity without delay, he added.
Everyone has a part to play
Mr. Guterres also called for governments and leaders to be transparent and accountable, and for businesses to act responsibly, highlighting the importance of a vibrant civic space and open access to information.
Whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing, must get the legal protection they deserve, in calling out corruption.
“Technological advances can help increase transparency and better monitor procurement of medical supplies,” explained the Secretary-General, adding that anti-corruption bodies should be supported and empowered.
UN Convention against Corruption The Secretary-General also urged nations to use a vital tool, provided by the UN: adopted by the General Assembly in 2003, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, entered into force in December 2005. It currently has 187 States Parties.
It is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument, and its far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to corruption.
Through five key areas – preventive measures; criminalization and law enforcement; international cooperation; asset recovery; and technical assistance and information exchange – the Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.
#UN; #CriminalNetwork; #GlobalLaw; #CrimePrevention
UN, Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): With criminal networks looking to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical for governments to work together in line with a landmark UN treaty to combat human trafficking, gun smuggling and other cross-border crimes, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday.
Forensic police investigation in developing countries is a key part of tackling organized crime.
Image credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret
His comments came in a video message to the latest meeting of countries which have signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Palermo Convention, as the treaty is also known, and the UN chief underlined its importance at this particular moment.
COVID-19: An accelerator for crime “Criminals are seeking to profit from the COVID-19 crisis”, said Mr. Guterres.
“The pandemic has also heightened the vulnerability of migrants to risks of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. International cooperation through the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is more urgent than ever”.
The week-long meeting, officially the 10th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention, is being held by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Falsified medicines and internet scams In her opening address, UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly also underlined how the pandemic is an accelerator for criminal activity.
“One such emerging threat which poses an acute danger to human life is the sale of falsified medical products online”, she reported.
“Organized crime groups are selling substandard and falsified medical products, targeting individuals, health facilities and public agencies through internet scams. Falsified COVID vaccines will soon be a lethal reality and governments need to be prepared to counter this threat.”
Response and recovery at risk Ms. Waly added that healthcare systems continue to face cyberattacks, while lockdowns have precipitated a rise in online child sexual abuse. Meanwhile, movement restrictions have made migrants more vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
Furthermore, criminal operations are threatening global COVID-19 response and compromising recovery, she continued. Crime groups have been stealing stimulus funds from those in need, and are infiltrating the legal economy through money laundering.
Important work ahead Some 190 countries are party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the only legally binding global instrument against this threat.
The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in November 2000 and entered into force three years later. It is supplemented by three Protocols against Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants, and Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms.
“Important work lies ahead this week, as we mark the Convention’s 20th anniversary by advancing the fight against transnational organized crime, strengthening prevention and enhancing protection of crime victims”, said Ms. Waly.
“We are all gathered here, in person or virtually, because we believe in the power of the Convention and its Protocols to drive solutions to problems that no country can face alone, and to keep our societies safer and able to prosper.”
The current COP follows on from the 2018 session where participants agreed on new resolutions for strengthening implementation of the Protocol on firearms.
This year, they will look to adopt a resolution launching the first phase of the review mechanism for the UN Convention, which was established in 2018 following years of negotiation.
#UN; #Law; #CrimePrevention; #Religion; #InternationalCriminalCourt
UN, Oct 11 (Canadian-Media): A woman in her 70s whose daughter was killed and whose grandchildren were abducted during two decades of conflict and insecurity in Uganda, has been speaking about how religion has helped her to find a meaning in life.
Religion has been an invaluable support to many survivors of the conflict in northern Uganda. Image credit: ICC-CPI/Pete Muller
Jujina Alanyo lives in the north of the East African country, which was the epicentre of a reign of terror there, largely perpetrated by the self-styled Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA.
Her individual experience is an example of the type of personal testimony that the international justice system is increasingly focused on gathering and listening to as part of a people-focused judicial process.
The UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague is the world’s first permanent international court to prosecute some of the most heinous of crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Jujina Alanyo is one of thousands of people in Uganda and other conflict-affected countries around the world who wish to have their voices heard. Read her story, here.
#UN; #UNODC; #HumanTrafficking; #SocioEconomicFactors; #Law&CrimePrevention
UN, Oct 8 (Canadian-Media): Across the world, girls as young as 12 are being forced or tricked into marrying men who exploit them for sex and domestic work, in what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called an “under-reported, global form of human trafficking”.
Farmer Nurul Haque stands near his 13-year-old daughter in Bangladesh, saying he may have to pull her from school and marry her off to an older man because he has few financial options left. Image Credit: UNICEF/UN0159775/Nybo
The agency has published a report which documents the interlinkages between trafficking in persons and marriage and provides steps for governments and other authorities to strike back.
“This is the first publication that looks at the issue globally and through the lens of the international, legal obligations that States have to address trafficking in persons,” said Silke Albert from UNODC’s Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, one of the report’s key authors.
The study involved research conducted in nine countries in different regions of the world, over a 12-month period. The countries covered were Canada, Germany, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Experts interviewed some 150 people who come into contact with potential victims of human traffickings, such as lawyers, government officials, members of non-governmental organizations, and police officers.
“We discovered that although trafficking for the purpose of marriage is a global phenomenon, the way the crime is perpetrated in different countries is very specific depending on cultural, religious, and socioeconomic factors,” said Tejal Jesrani, a UNODC Research Officer.
Forced unions for financial gain
Most cases of trafficking for the purpose of marriage involve young, female victims, many of whom come from disadvantaged family backgrounds, according to the report.
Researchers found that the “marriages” can be arranged by family members, wedding agencies, or brokers, often for financial or material gain. In some cases, brides are kidnapped.
Various coercive or fraudulent methods are used to obtain consent, including abduction, deception, abuse of vulnerability, and the receiving of payments or gifts.
Women and girls trapped in these forced unions face violence, abuse, restrictions on movement, and isolation from their parents and friends.
Abused and afraid
Ms. Albert explained that there are many factors that make women vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including their age, status, and lack of education and employment opportunities.
“Physical and sexual abuse is common and mainly perpetrated by the husband, but sometimes also by his relatives and friends and other third parties, including clients purchasing sexual services or abusive marriage brokers”, she said.
The report states that marriage can be linked to all phases of human trafficking, starting with the recruitment and transportation of the victim. As with other forms of trafficking, only a small proportion of cases reach the attention of the police, and there are very few convictions.
Furthermore, women and girls usually find it difficult to seek help, for fear of stigmatization.
“Marriage is normally considered a private, family matter, which is not discussed even when domestic violence and abuse are involved,” said Ms. Albert. “The victims are also concerned about what would happen to their children, residence permits, or to their homes if they report the crime.”
A tool for action
The report contains several policy recommendations. The aim is to prevent cases of trafficking linked to marriage, identify and protect victims, and prosecute those responsible.
Ms. Albert explained that in general, victims of human trafficking are not being properly identified and do not receive the support they need. “So, when this crime takes place in the context of marriage, which is so deeply rooted in local traditions, religions and social structures, identification and investigation are even more complex,” she said.
UNODC hopes governments will use the report to develop a national response. “It is also seen as a resource for police officers, immigration and health authorities and social workers”, Ms. Albert added. “They need to know the indicators of the crime, which are detailed in the publication, so they can take appropriate action.”
A report is also a tool for lawyers, prosecutors, and judges as it includes a section that outlines relevant international treaties and laws, as well as the legal obligations of States regarding victims’ rights.
“Human trafficking is committed for the purpose of exploitation. So, a key question when dealing with potential cases of trafficking for marriage is to what extent do the circumstances, which can include abuse and violence, qualify as exploitation as stated in the UN’s Trafficking in Persons Protocol,” said Ms. Albert, referring to the main global, legally-binding instrument.
#UN; #ICC; #SDGs
UN, Oct 1 (Canadian-Media): Deterring genocides, armed conflicts and other atrocious crimes supports sustainable development says the President of the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) Chile Eboe-Osuji.
Students at a 'peace school' in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are being supported by the ICC's Trust Fund for Victims assistance programme. Image credit: Trust Fund for Victims
The ICC investigates and tries people for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression and has a key role to play in helping countries to bring peace and justice as well as build strong institutions. Those aims are central to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, one of 17 targets agreed by countries across the world to eradicate poverty, build a fairer and more peaceful world whilst protecting the planet.
UN News asked Mr. Eboe-Osuji how important justice is for peace and sustainable development
“The ICC has a very direct value to socio-economic development, because it aims to deter armed conflicts and the atrocities that they breed. Without justice, conflicts, atrocities and fear would reign free.
In concrete terms: how can we have successful socio-economic development, if farmers cannot go to their farms because of military operations, or landmines? Where entrepreneurs cannot do business due to destruction of economic infrastructures? Where children cannot go to school? Where precious resources are wasted on weapons, rather than education and healthcare? Where investors are scared away by conflict and instability? Where people are killed, injured and traumatised for life? Where the best brains of the nation are compelled to flee in search of a safer life elsewhere? And where countries struggle to cope with refugee flows from neighbouring countries at war?
The devastating effect of wars on economic development cannot be overstated. According to a study published in 2011 by the World Bank, the average cost of civil war is equivalent to more than 30 years of GDP growth for a medium-size developing economy and trade levels after major episodes of violence take 20 years to recover.”
How does the ICC's work support SDG 16? “The ICC does this by addressing crimes that threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. We strive toward a world that will no longer tolerate such atrocious crimes being committed with impunity.
By helping to deter atrocious crimes, the ICC contributes to the reduction of violence and related deaths, which is the first objective of SDG 16.
By seeking accountability where national justice systems are unable to do so, the ICC reinforces the principle of the rule of law and provides victims with access to justice, which are key targets under SDG 16. The ICC system encourages capacity building of national judicial institutions - another SDG 16 target”.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
What impact is the Court having on people's lives? “The impact is most tangible in the affected communities. The ICC has granted victims with unprecedented opportunities for access to justice – one of the key elements of SDG 16. Victims receive free legal assistance and have the right to request reparation for the harm they have suffered. This focus on reparative justice is a hallmark of the ICC’s proceedings.
The ICC’s Trust Fund for Victims is currently realizing the Court’s first judicial orders on reparations. In addition, the Fund has provided physical and psychological rehabilitation as well as socio-economic support to almost half a million victims through its assistance programmes.
Read more here about some of the people that have been affected by crimes.
The ICC has loosened the grip of tyranny in our time. Oppressors can no longer be sure that they would enjoy complete and utter freedom from accountability for their cruelty Chile Eboe-Osuji, President, International Criminal Court (ICC)
Globally speaking, the ICC has loosened the grip of tyranny in our time. Oppressors can no longer be sure that they would enjoy complete and utter freedom from accountability for their cruelty. Victims now have a place that they can look to in hope of justice. And the oppressors will always have to worry about what the ICC might do, sooner or later.
Another significant effect is the impact on national legal systems. Scores of States Parties to the Rome Statute, [the treaty which established the ICC], have updated their national laws to allow their own courts to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”.
What are the greatest challenges the Court faces?“One of the greatest challenges is that not all states are parties to it. While about two-thirds of the world’s sovereign states are ICC States Parties, some 70 UN Member States are yet to join the Rome Statute and pledge their cooperation with the Court. But, even more worrying is the fact that some states are actively undermining the ICC’s work, most recently the United States, which has used draconian measures against the ICC and its personnel, including economic coercion, with a view to influencing the Court’s actions.
This is entirely unacceptable and needs to end. I am grateful for the staunch support in the face of these attacks that we see from our States Parties, regional organisations, professional associations, civil society and citizens, including US citizens”.