(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady today announced the creation of a new anti-human trafficking coalition, Operation T.E.N. (Trafficking Ends Now), comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well as non-governmental organizations.
Operation T.E.N. serves as an umbrella coalition for the 25 counties in the Western District of Pennsylvania, and is a coordinated effort aimed at ending human trafficking through education, improving cooperation among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and will enhance our ability to empower victims of human trafficking to become thriving survivors.
“Human trafficking is an affront to human dignity,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “It is a form of modern-day slavery that knows no race, gender, age or border. Operation T.E.N.’s collaborative approach will tighten the net around human traffickers by providing a truly intergovernmental, coordinated approach to investigating and prosecuting these predators and their networks. Equally important, it will also ensure that survivors can more easily and directly access the services they need for a healthy, safe recovery.”
“The FBI depends on our partnerships to help us protect communities,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. “We will work with our partners at every level to take those responsible for this heinous crime off our streets. It’s our priority to identify and recover child victims of human trafficking. They are some of the most vulnerable members of our community who have been physically and emotionally abused and don’t see a way out. We want them to know there is a way to start rebuilding their lives and human trafficking will not be tolerated.”
“Human trafficking is a corrosive and degrading practice that goes against both the rule of law and the most basic standards of human dignity. Homeland Security Investigations is excited about the formation of the newly formed Operation T.E.N. Coalition, dedicated to ending human trafficking, and we look forward to expanding our role in the community by promoting partnerships with private and public entities,” said David Abbate, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for HSI Pittsburgh. “We are confident that we can affect change with our victim-centric approach to investigations, where equal value is placed on the identification and stabilization of victims, as well as the investigation and prosecution of suspects.”
Combatting human trafficking is currently one of the Department of Justice’s highest priorities nationally and in our community. As part of the strategy, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski, who is an experienced prosecutor and serves as the Human Trafficking Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s office, will oversee Operation T.E.N. and community outreach, serving as a resource that members of our community can utilize to directly access the United States Attorney’s Office regarding human trafficking.