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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

U.S. Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice Host Two-Day Human Trafficking Seminar for Law Enfo

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- MARCH 16, 2023 - United States Attorney Zachary A. Myers is proud to announce the successful completion of the first Human Trafficking Seminar held in the Southern District of Indiana. This two-day, educational event was hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana, and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU).

The seminar was organized by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence D. Hilton, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Coordinator, and the agenda included presentations from the HTPU’s Deputy Director, Matt Grady, National Program Manager, Sean Tepfer, and Trial Attorney Julie Pfluger. Topics covered included proving coercion, documenting a human trafficking crime scene, anticipating and overcoming common defenses, trauma informed interviewing, trial preparation, evidence collection, and prosecuting human trafficking crimes at a federal level.

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that inflicts lasting trauma on survivors who are often already vulnerable,” said U.S. Attorney Myers. “These complex crimes require prosecutors to work closely with investigators to get traffickers off the streets, while collaborating with agencies and organizations who provide vital resources to support survivors. Human traffickers, especially those who employ force, fraud, or coercion, and who sell minors for sex, should take notice: these crimes one of our top priorities, and convictions will result in lengthy terms in federal prison with no possibility of parole. Survivors, especially those who are still in the grips of traffickers, should know that there are specially trained police, prosecutors, and service providers who support you, believe in you, and will work tirelessly to get you the help you need.”

An example of these collaborative efforts in the Southern District of Indiana can be seen in the recent sentencing of Damion Alexander to fifteen years in federal prison for the sex trafficking of a minor. See release here.

U.S. Attorney Myers encourages the community to be aware of indicators of trafficking and report suspicious activity. Recognizing key indicators is the first step in identifying victims and can help save them from further exploitation.

Indicators of human trafficking can include the following:

  • An individual with an inability to produce identification or other documents because they are in a third party’s possession and control.

  • An individual who is unable to freely contact friends or family.

  • An individual who is coached on what to say to law enforcement or other authority figures.

  • An individual who lacks knowledge or awareness as to what happens to the money they earn/are supposed to earn.

  • An individual who lacks knowledge or awareness as to how much money they earn.

  • An individual who is unable move or travel freely.

  • Garnishment of a salary to pay off a fee imposed by their employer.

  • Juveniles engaged in commercial sex.

  • Frequent visits to the emergency department.

Anyone who has information about a potential human trafficking situation or thinks they or someone they know may be a victim of human trafficking should contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals can also text 233733 or email

For more information about human trafficking, please visit

Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at

The federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and partners who participated in the Seminar included:

  • Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

  • Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Anderson, Spencer and Shelby County, Kentucky

  • Boone County Prosecutor’s Office

  • Boone County Sheriff’s Office

  • Crawfordsville Fire Department

  • Cherish Child Advocacy Center. Noblesville, IN

  • Child and Parent Services. Elkhart, IN

  • Child Advocacy Center. Marion County, IN

  • Child Advocates Inc. Indianapolis, IN

  • Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office

  • Community Health Network of Indiana

  • Damien Center. Indianapolis, IN

  • Department of Child Services- Hancock County

  • Department of Homeland Security- Investigations

  • Eskenazi Health COH

  • Family Service Association of Indianapolis

  • FBI

  • Firefly Children & Family Alliance. Indianapolis, IN

  • Freedom Network USA

  • Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office

  • Indiana Attorney General’s Office- Investigations Division

  • Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking

  • Indiana Legal Services

  • Indiana Department of Child Services

  • Indiana Department of Workforce Development

  • Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

  • Indiana Protection of Abused and Trafficked Humans Taskforce

  • Indiana State Parole

  • Indiana State Police

  • Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program

  • Indiana Youth Services Association

  • Johnson County Human Trafficking Task Force

  • Marion County Behavioral Health Court

  • Marion County Juvenile Probation

  • Marion County Prosecutor's Office

  • Marion Superior Court Probation Department

  • Moyars Consulting

  • Riley Children’s Hospital

  • Salvation Army

  • Sheridan Police Department

  • Stepping Stone Shelter for Women, Inc. Michigan City, IN

  • Sylvias Child Advocacy Center. Lebanon, IN

  • Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office- Northern District of Indiana

  • U.S. Marshal Services

  • Vigo County Prosecutor's Office

  • Whitestown Metropolitan Police Department

  • Washington Township School Police Department

  • West Lafayette Police Department

  • Zionsville Police Department

  • Zoey's Place Child Advocate. Greenfield, IN

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