The FBI estimates that a mid-level trafficker can make more than $500,000 dollars a year by marketing just four girls.
In our second part of Trafficked, Youth Radio finds that what used to be a local activity has gone global and more violent. With so much money being made through trafficking, police say long standing networks of gangs and drug dealers are starting to cross over because they see sex trafficking as an easier game. The potential prison sentences are much lower and the game is less dangerous if you are a pimp or a trafficker.
Youth Radio obtained a hand-written business plan from a pimp (PDF below) during our investigation for Trafficked (obtained from a prosecutor.) The business plan titled Keep It Pimpin states how the pimp wants to expand his trafficking business locally as well as nationally. He also writes that he wants to discover girls “from all over”--especially girls in jail houses and in small cities.
Alameda County DA Sharmin Bock says the pimp business plan represents a larger pimp mentality. “He said ‘I’m going to take it from the concrete streets to the executive suites.’ And that means ultimately you do want to be in those executive suites,” Bock says. “Ultimately you do want to be doing the big ticket sales of children all over the country. And sadly today there is no better bang for your buck, no better investment on your money, no better return, than selling a child for sex.”
Youth Radio Investigates: Trafficked, on NPR’s All Things Considered tells the stories of two teenagers who were trafficked on the streets of Oakland. The investigation uncovers how the city’s law enforcement has responded to a sex trafficking industry that is thriving in plain sight. The series continues on youthradio.org and The Huffington Post, where multimedia reporting goes deeper to reveal the varied perspectives of girls sold for sex on the streets and online, and a pimp "business plan" provided by prosecuters.