Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today: Slavery in NC Triangle South

This weekend has been designated by the Salvation Army as the Fourth Annual International Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for Victims of Sexual Trafficking. (Also see here. And resources here.) These people were duped and do not want to be where they are. They are enslaved. 

Below are incidents of human sexual and labor slavery and trafficking in the Triangle area and south in North Carolina.


RALEIGH, NC – Valente Chavez Sanchez,23; Melania "Maritza" Corcino,43; and Jose Altagracia Deleon Corcino,25, operated a sex trafficking ring between 1997 and August 2004 in Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina, and Lillington, North Carolina. 

They trafficked the women and at least one 14 yr. old minor from New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Sanchez arranged the transportation of enslaved prostitutes from NY, NJ and MD. "The women typically would work a week in a brothel in Raleigh or Durham and then be exchanged for other out-of-state prostitutes. 

The price Sanchez paid for each new enslaved female was $130"(N&O). Women were kept "under lock and key" and were not allowed to quit. "Where the minor was found, there were armed guards at the house," Rangarajan said. Corcino "was barking orders and even offered her service [to investigators]"(N&O).

N&O, "Brothel Workers Enslaved"; "Three Accused of Operating Brothels"; "Woman Sentenced in Brothel Case"; ABC 11, "Uncovering Secret Brothels"; News 14, "Raleigh Man Pleads Guilty to child sex trafficking"


Durham, NC: Frank M. Lombard, 42, was arrested June 24, 2009, at his home in Durham, North Carolina. During an Internet chat, Lombard allegedly offered the child to the person he was chatting with, who was a task force officer from Washington's Metropolitan Police, the FBI said in a statement. Lombard is the associate director of Duke University's Center for Health Policy, but was placed on unpaid administrative leave, effective immediately, university spokesman Keith Lawrence said. The chat was initiated after a confidential source facing child pornography charges told authorities they had witnessed a man, allegedly Lombard, performing sex acts on a child over the Internet.

During the chat, according to the complaint filed against Lombard, he told the officer that he had performed multiple sex acts on the boy and that the officer could do the same if he came to Durham. Two children at the home, including the 5-year-old, were removed from the home by the North Carolina Department of Social Services, the FBI said. 


JOHNSTON COUNTY, NC – Between 08/01/2005 to 11/01/2005, a recruiter from Million Express Manpower, a former labor contracting company out of Mount Olive, NC, lured 30 Thai men to work in Johnston County, North Carolina with a promise of earning $16,000 a year for 3 years. The recruiter charged a fee of $11,000 for each man to "secure" their job abroad.

Once they arrived, the labor contractor confiscated their passports and visas. "After about a week living in a motel in Benson, they were moved to a small storage building in Dunn, behind the home of Seo Homsombath, a native of Laos who is president of Million Express." "Homsombath at first contained the men by telling them that, without passports, police would arrest them if they left the property. Later, he showed them a gun, according to both Asanok and the lawsuit. A relative or employee was always at the house to guard them, Asanok said."(Asanok is one of the Thai workers who sued Million Express) 

"Homsombath delivered food, but it often wasn't enough for all 30 men, Asanok said. They had no kitchen, so they cooked outside on a portable gas burner. By mid-October the farm work ran out, and Homsombath took the workers to New Orleans, the lawsuit says. They spent a few weeks in a condemned hotel, badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, without electricity or clean water. During the day, the lawsuit says, they demolished parts of the hotel they lived in. Asanok said he spent his days tearing down walls and hauling piles of destroyed carpet out of the hotel." "The Thai workers, including Asanok, say they were never paid for their work in New Orleans. Some were so broke, the suit says, that they trapped and ate pigeons." 


FAYETTEVILLE, NC – Woman charged with prostituting a 14-year-old girl to support her drug habit. "20-year-old Sandra Panecka coerced the girl to run away from home in 2007 and then introduced her to drugs. They say Panecka eventually encouraged the girl to begin prostituting herself so they could both continue to buy cocaine. The victim says she was physically and sexually assaulted and was infected with sexually-transmitted diseases."

Stop Human Sex Trafficking