Homeland Security Investigations: Fight Human Trafficking with a Full Arsenal

In the summer of 2009, a desperate young Ukrainian woman sought the help of the Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Police (CCSP). The woman, whose neck was branded with a distinctive horseshoe-shaped tattoo, described to police how she had been held captive by a man who had lured her to suburban Chicago with the promise of employment, a place to live, and immigration assistance. Once there, he confiscated her passport, regularly beat and sexually abused her, forced her to work long hours at his massage parlor without pay, and drove her there and back from various locations where he kept her so that it was virtually impossible to escape. She also told police that he subjected other Eastern European women to these same torments. The tattoo, she explained, marked all of them as members of his so-called family.