Human Trafficking Trends and Case Studies A Reactive and Proactive Approach

Human Trafficking Trends and Case Studies A Reactive and Proactive Approach
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-05-02
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Human Trafficking Trends and Case Studies A Reactive and Proactive Approach
Unit 2Transcript: Human Trafficking Trends and Case Studies A Reactive and Proactive Approach
Unit 3Workbook: Human Trafficking Trends and Case Studies A Reactive and Proactive Approach
Unit 4Recording: Human Trafficking Trends and Case Studies A Reactive and Proactive Approach

There are numerous research and articles online that expound on the disproportionate victimization of Native Americans – this goes for homicide, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and the focus of this webinar – human trafficking and sex trafficking. This session goes into the findings of a research that examined cases of human trafficking and sex trafficking in Montana’s Northern Cheyenne and Crow Native American Reservations.

Leading the discussion are Lisa Wall and John Grisnell. Lisa is a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2004 and currently assigned with investigating child exploitation and human trafficking. She closely partners with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Northern Cheyenne Criminal Investigations Service. Meanwhile, John has worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and served on the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council. He is currently the Chief of Police with BIA, overseeing operations at both the Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne Reservations.

Specifics covered in the webinar include:

  • Choosing the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations for the study due to the high incidence of trafficking cases and collaborative efforts with federal agencies.
  • Human trafficking 101: The components that constitute human trafficking, the critical elements of force, fraud, and coercion required as proof, and its major categories.
  • Zeroing in on sex trafficking – how force, fraud and coercion aren’t required when the victim is a minor, and the federal sentencing guidelines for it.
  • An overview of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and Crow Nation topography and membership.
  • Human trafficking trends: Facts and figures worldwide and its disproportionate representation in native communities.
  • Factors that put native communities at high risk of human trafficking incidence.
  • Individual qualities that traffickers look for in potential victims and additional risk factors that increase susceptibility to victimization.
  • The different traffickers that victims might be operating under and the different ways sex trafficking may manifest as other criminal activities.
  • Case studies were provided to demonstrate…
    • The different characters within communities that perpetrate sex trafficking.
    • How much-needed evidence and disclosures were acquired through collaboration with victim specialists and forensic interviewers.
    • How traffickers leverage technology in victimization.
    • Different case outcomes and resolutions that were highly dependent on evidence collection and training and education of investigators and partners on the dynamics of sex trafficking.
    • The two major types of sextortion and how sextortion is facilitated through technology.
  • How Northern Cheyenne Nation is proactively addressing sex trafficking within their jurisdiction through legislation, outreach, collaborations, expanded jurisdiction through federal partners, and leveraging grant funding for a dedicated human trafficking investigator.
  • A rundown of the prosecutorial challenges in sex trafficking cases that adversely impact victims.
  • Critical elements to combat sex trafficking by…
    • Overcoming prosecutorial challenges by supporting and building trust with victims, providing resources, asking the right questions, and educating and training investigators.
    • Implementing a proactive and targeted approach to investigation through account takeovers and undercover operations.
    • Fostering collaborations between tribal law enforcement, the FBI, and community resources.
    • Adopting a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach that protects the victim, holds offenders accountable, raises community awareness, and reduces trauma and re-victimization.
  • How to report suspected human trafficking.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • The value of victim service’s early involvement and continuous support in human trafficking investigations.
  • Proactive initiatives to educate youth about human trafficking and other criminal activities at schools.
  • Prosecutorial standards for human trafficking cases involving minors and the use of other criminal charges when there is only one victim.
  • Recognizing sex trafficking involvement.
  • The intersection between cartel activities and human trafficking in reservations.
  • How economic conditions within tribes contribute to the risk of human trafficking.


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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “I learned a lot about how human trafficking is handled within tribal areas, which I didn’t know anything about before.”
  • “The information shared was in-depth and definitely needed. The Presenter’s enthusiasm and passion regarding this critical topic were AWESOME!!!”
  • “Great presentation and awareness of this growing crime. Thank you, well done.”
  • “As a Native American with the Chickasaw tribe, I found this information to be interesting to see what is going on with other tribes and Indian affairs.”
  • “Very interesting webinar. The case studies used were great examples that elaborated on the information provided.”
  • “This was great information! Thank you for taking the time and give us information on such a hard topic.”
  • “This was a great seminar. I learned a lot about human trafficking in Indian Country and the importance of collaboration. The presenters presented the information and carried the conversation in a manner that kept your attention.”
  • “The survivor is always the victim! The speaker noted so many important things about collaboration with the tribe; different ways to address HT; and the importance of establishing a relationship with the victims and the tribes.”
  • “Great information shared today and resources. I learned collaboration with all entities, as well as a trauma-informed approach, is critical with HT most valuable.”


Nlets is a self-funded nonprofit, established in 1967 with the objective of connecting law enforcement, justice, and public safety agencies for the purpose of exchanging critical criminal justice information. They strive to ensure that the right information gets to the right person as quickly as possible. Nlets connects more than 1,000,000 users, 45,000 agencies, and 800,000 devices, with more than three billion transactions traversing their secure network last year.





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