In less than a month, three Alaska offenders have been sentenced to prison for human trafficking and child sex abuse. This comes shortly after the city of Wasilla proclaimed January as “National Slavery and Human trafficking prevention month.”
In late November 2021, Wasilla Mayor Glenda Ledford proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The proclamation was made during a video conference call by Ledford with Love Justice International’s Alaska Transit Policing Project Director Sabrina Stratford. Days earlier, the Project and proclamation were also presented to Alaska Alliance to Stop Human Trafficking (ASHTA) coordinator Staci Yates, who also directs Human Trafficking Recovery Services at the MyHouse Mat-Su Homeless Youth Center in Wasilla.
Just three weeks after this encounter, on December 16, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, under the Department of Justice, reported that Wally Carter, of Kotzebue, 62, had been sentenced to twenty years in prison for sexually abusing a minor.
On December 30, the same U.S. Attorney’s Office reported that Davon Smith, 29, of Anchorage, was sentenced to more than 23 years in prison for sex trafficking and drug-related offenses. And again, on January 5, the District Attorney’s Office reported that Tristan Jamal Grant, alias “Goo”, 35, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for five counts of sex trafficking of minors (including a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old), three counts of child pornography and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Alaska, the scene of trafficking Aside from the three cases mentioned above (not the only ones, and maybe not the most recent either), Staci Yates (ASHTA) has mentioned that, at the end of November, there was “an incident at the Anchorage International Airport,” related to human trafficking.
Sabrina Stratford (Love Justice International) pointed out that the Transit Monitoring Program, which helps authorities detect human trafficking cases, is especially useful at airports because “80% of human trafficking occurs there” and that the implementation of the Program has resulted in “more than a thousand arrests.” In the United States, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act was enacted in October 2000. The first federal prosecution to occur nationwide, following the enactment of this Act, was in Anchorage. AIJP (Alaska Immigration Justice Project) staff worked with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Immigration and Naturalization Service Office to protect and ensure the safety of the seven victims in that case.
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