Another day, another sex trafficking bust in the beautiful state of Connecticut.
Hiran Sanchez, a 21-year-old from Hartford also known as “Ivan” and “Pablo” pleaded guilty last week in Hartford federal court to one count of sex trafficking a minor.
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, and according to court documents and statements made in court, Sanchez recruited two minor victims to engage in commercial sex acts.
Sanchez trafficked the first victim, who was 15 at the time, in the summer of 2016, and the second victim, who was 16, in April and May 2017.
Sanchez advertised both of the victims’ prostitution services on Backpage.com. Then he brought the victims to Hartford-area hotels to meet with clients who paid them for sex. The victims handed over all of the money they earned to Sanchez.
Sanchez has been in jail since his arrest on January 22, 2018.
There’s a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life for the charge of sex trafficking a minor. Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on May 8, 2019.
The bust was made after an investigation by the Connecticut State Police and Hartford Police Department, through the Connecticut Human Trafficking Task Force, and with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarala V. Nagala and Nancy V. Gifford.
Ironically, the day Sanchez plead guilty to the charges was the day the old offices from Backpage.com were turned into the new home of DeliverFund, a 501c3 that trains, equips and advises law enforcement to combat human trafficking.
In this picture, DeliverFund co-founder and Senior VP Jeremy Mahugh, Director of Operations Michael Fullilove, and Founder and Executive Director Nic McKinley survey the new location in Dallas, and are in the process of planning the layout of their new headquarters to counter human trafficking.
For years, Backpage was a haven for sex traffickers selling underage girls. But on April 6, the federal government raided its offices and indicted several of its executives on charges of laundering money and running an online brothel.
Backpage.com was found guilty of not just hosting ads for trafficked women, but actually coaching traffickers on how to creatively re-word the ads in order to keep law enforcement from picking up their trail.
Rumor has it DeliverFund played a pivotal role in taking down the company. DeliverFund has not commented on that possibility.
Now DeliverFund is taking over the 3,000 square foot space to house their International Human Trafficking Analysis Center–a central point of information coordination and dissemination for law enforcement, select nonprofits and the professionals working to end modern-day slavery. Law Enforcement Today is proud to support DeliverFund and the work they are doing within the law enforcement community. We encourage you to support their endeavors on this takeover by donating here.
We’ve told you about DeliverFund before. This team of former Special Operations Veterans, NSA analysts, members of Delta Force, CIA, FBI and Navy SEALs has its sights set on destroying human trafficking rings. These are the men and women that are rescuing innocent victims and devastating markets on a daily basis.
Here’s the issue. Our government has agencies to combat narcotics, firearms, smuggling, and a host of major problems in our country. Yet it’s 2018 and we still don’t have a dedicated department going after sex traffickers. See the problem?
You may have seen founder and CEO Nic McKinley in Vice’s recent episode, ‘The Real Jack Ryan’. This former CIA and special operations vet brings his expertise to helping train police departments how to track and take down traffickers.
Relocating to Dallas is a key move for DeliverFund, considering the high percentage of cases they’ve dealt with in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area.
“Dallas has a great hub of people who care about doing good in the world and have the financial capacity to do it,” notes Mahugh. “There’s a large problem, but also significant capability to solve it. … Plus, we have a massive amount of law enforcement in this area who want to be part of the program, so having headquarters here lets us get many more officers trained for much less than it would cost them to get to Albuquerque for seven to 10 days. There’d be a lot more options we could provide.”
Eric Bauer, a lawyer who helped represent multiple victims against Backpage.com had this to say. “The two major criminal industries in this country are drug trafficking and sex trafficking. For drugs, we have the DEA. For sex trafficking, we have DeliverFund.
If you want to make a direct impact in the take down of human traffickers, you can support DeliverFund right here.