Home / Badge Abuse / Cops Exposed for Ignoring Sex Trafficking and Slavery to Raid Pot Farms for Profit Instead

Cops Exposed for Ignoring Sex Trafficking and Slavery to Raid Pot Farms for Profit Instead

Here at The Free Thought Project, we have documented numerous examples of how government’s war on drugs ruins the lives of innocent people and fuels the phenomenon called “policing for profit.”

In an investigative report by Shoshana Walter published at Reveal, we see the saddening, infuriating way in which these two products of the drug war come together in the Emerald Triangle, three counties in northern California that represent the largest cannabis-producing region in the U.S.

The good old days of the 60s – where hippies came to escape society and grow cannabis for a west coast population steeped in peace, love and mind expansion – have taken a turn for the worse.

It is still home to virtuous people making a living and respecting human rights and the environment. However, the Emerald Triangle has unfortunately been tarnished by the presence of psychopaths and police preying on the populace.

Walter relays the tales of female “trimmigrants” who trim cannabis buds during the June-to-November harvest. Some of them attend Humboldt State University, and others are attracted from farther away with the promise of good money to be made.

The investigation reveals a disturbing reality where some owners of pot farms, which are often located far from any town, force their trimmigrant workers into sex and sometimes don’t even pay them for work. One teenage trimmer described being locked in an oversized toolbox with breathing holes if she threatened to run away.

The problem is not that they are working in the cannabis industry, but the fact that government prohibition is perpetuating it as a black market — allowing for society’s worst to flourish. 

Federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug – the most restrictive form of prohibition – and California has yet to legalize its recreational use. The state legalized medical cannabis in 1996, which fueled an explosive growth of cannabis farming in the Emerald Triangle, but the half-baked effort at decriminalization has brought little change to the region. Instead, greed prompted some unscrupulous players to seize on the obscurity of the black market.

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Just as astonishing as the rise in sexual exploitation and the number of girls who go missing, is the stance of law enforcement. Rather than devote their resources to solving the real crimes of underage sex trafficking and slavery, cops focus on raiding grow operations – legal or not – to seize cash and assets for financial gain.

“Despite evidence of a growing problem, law enforcement has put few resources into investigations of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Instead, police have conducted stings targeting prostitutes and sometimes their pimps. And the Eureka police chief recently posed as a grower online to attract trimmers, only to warn them not to come…

Marijuana raids also have become a large source of revenue for local law enforcement agencies. During raids, officers have confiscated not just harvests, but also money, guns and even farming equipment.

Humboldt County law enforcement agencies made 100 seizures of property and funds last year, including from farmers who had legal permission to grow. The value of the assets totaled more than $2 million – more per capita than was pulled from the state’s 15 most populous counties combined, state data shows. Mendocino County’s marijuana eradication team receives a finder’s fee from a pool of seized funds for every case it initiates, in addition to a nearly 50 percent cut of any confiscated funds.

The result is tantamount to tunnel vision, said Kyla Baxley, the district attorney’s office investigator. “They’re going in to eradicate marijuana, and they would probably tell you nothing else is happening but the drugs.”

That perspective seems to pervade law enforcement agencies across the Emerald Triangle.”

Part of the problem is that trimmigrants working at an illegal grow operation are very reluctant to call police, if they can even manage to get a line of communication. Calling the cops may rule out future jobs, too.

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One teen started working for a grower when she was 12, and was “passed around” to pay off the grower’s debts. She ran away to a youth homeless shelter, which turned out to be a hunting ground for pimps as many other vulnerable girls also worked on cannabis farms.

Such is the legacy of the black market created and perpetuated by government prohibition. The cannabis industry that was born in the Emerald Triangle – to meet the demand for this plant that humans have enjoyed and benefited from for thousands of years – grew during the era of prohibition.

Instead of developing like any other industry, such as the legal drug alcohol, northern California cannabis farming evolved underground. And that brought with it the scourge of unscrupulous growers preying on other human beings; growers who’ve become experts at hiding their misdeeds along with their grow operations.

Thanks to the war on drugs, “policing for profit” now takes priority over stopping the underground sex trafficking and slavery ring.

As we witness the development of the cannabis industry in states that have fully legalized the plant, nowhere do we hear about sexual exploitation, slavery, and missing persons. Operating in the light of day tends to promote a fair and just way of doing business.

Alongside these miscreant growers in the Emerald Triangle who abuse girls, are the cops exploiting prohibition by raiding cannabis farms for profit. Instead of acknowledging that supply will never be curtailed, and diverting their resources to real crimes of sexual exploitation and slavery, police departments are content to take their own cut from the trade.

  • JennaTrull

    Are we sure that they ignored the situation? Many police officers have been caught availing themselves of the “services” of some of these victims.

    • Elle

      Happens all the time as the norm. Cops rape and coerce sex, but they also often have sexual contact during

      • JennaTrull

        Sexual contact during a sting is rape, as would be any kind of sex obtained under blatantly false pretenses.

        • Elle

          I agree! But the cops and FBI don’t. It’s one of many dirty little secrets needing to be blasted out into the light. https://youtu.be/G5fZ1kIrhi8

          • billdeserthills

            Absolutely, Just Say No to Victimless Crimes

        • Elle

          Over at policeprostitutionandpolitics.com my friend and mentor Norma Jean Almodovar (ex LAPD turned call girl) has presented a huge amount of data including lists of cases of cops guilty of sex crimes against children, as well as sex workers. It’s mind blowing. Cops who rape-murder-pimp-extort sex workers: http://www.policeprostitutionandpolitics.com/pdfs_all/posters_all/Cops_rape_solicit_prostitutes_Rogues_Gallery.pdf

        • Collin Nonapplicable

          It’s not rape or sexual assault if both participants are willing, and of legal age of consent. The scenario mentioned is however, entrapment if the law enforcement official initiates or in any way suggests that sexual interactions should transpire and then follows through before making an arrest.

          • JennaTrull

            Willing under false pretenses is not willing. Men have been put in prison for “rape by deception,” so society accepts that just because you can be tricked into sex doesn’t make that OK.

          • Razedbywolvs

            Willing under false pretenses is not rape. If you meet a guy with a Lamborghini and after you have sex then find out he rented the car and hes broke… If thats your definition of rape, every women who doesn’t disclaim she has a boyfriend or husband before engaging in sex should be in jail for rape.

          • JennaTrull

            This is not the same thing at all.

          • Razedbywolvs

            Explain why.

          • JennaTrull

            Nope. I don’t owe you an education. Have a nice day.

          • Razedbywolvs

            I know you don’t owe me. I haven’t bought you dinner yet.

          • Collin Nonapplicable

            Exactly what someone would say if they knew they were full of shit but didn’t want to admit it.

          • Collin Nonapplicable

            “Tricked into sex”

            Isn’t the same thing as tricked into incriminating yourself. And honestly I don’t care what society says in this instance, this is NOT rape to me. I’m all for going after people who do wrong, but Im also for the punishment must fit the crime. It sounds to me like you are letting your emotions get the better of you. Punish them, but punish them for what they actually did wrong. Don’t make shit up just because you want them to suffer.

  • Kaionicexchange

    It’s the dope growers fault for creating a culture of rape and secrecy. Call the cops!

    • JennaTrull

      Didn’t you read the article? The problem is, cops won’t do jack shit about the sex trafficking. All they want to do is make a drug bust so they can confiscate the goodies. I’m sure there are a sickening number of officers raping these victims themselves.

      • Kaionicexchange

        No, the problem in those areas is the culture of secrecy.

        • JennaTrull

          There can be more than one problem.

          • Kaionicexchange

            In Petrolia, people have a code of secrecy. A couple years ago a man killed his family and fled to the area and people were not very helpful in the search.
            The police can’t prosecute if people don’t talk. The community had secret meetings to ‘talk’ about a solution. When they found out the guy was a serial rapist they finally decided to cooperate with authorities.

          • JennaTrull

            “The police can’t prosecute if people don’t talk.”

            That works the other way around as well. People won’t talk if the police don’t prosecute and all they get for their trouble is a reputation for snitching.

          • Kaionicexchange

            The dope growing culture brought the secrecy. When it was ranching and timber, people called the sheriff to report rape and kidnapping. They don’t want to talk to the police today because they are breaking the law…

          • JennaTrull

            Then the “culture of secrecy” was brought about by prohibition and will (hopefully) be alleviated once marijuana is legal and such industries no longer offer cops the chance to play pirate.

          • Kaionicexchange

            If they were goring legal, medical marijuana then why the secrecy?
            Chicken and egg.

          • JennaTrull

            It’s growing. I’m the one goring it. *grins* Unfortunately, I can explain why the secrecy exists even in the legal industry. Because marijuana is federally prohibited, cops can raid and pillage legal dispensaries with impunity, regardless of local legality or compliance with regulations. There might not be any charges filed, but that’s not what they’re after anyway. They can (and invariably do) confiscate everything they see, call it “asset forfeiture,” and make the owners jump through impossible hoops to get it back. Any time they’re called out on probable cause, they simply say they were acting on an “anonymous tip” that they were supplying illegal distributors.

            Here’s an example: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/med-west-medical-marijuana-raid_us_573a19e9e4b077d4d6f3ab1e

          • Elle

            Erotic service providers face asset forfeiture as well. Doesn’t matter that it’s their adult choice regarding their own body and life. If they own a home or have savings it can be stolen and this has happened many many times. To people supporting their families. Persecuted for their choice in jobs. I’ve been an erotic service provider for 18 years. I am networked with many thousands of providers who are adult consensual erotic service providers. There are likely millions of us but our voices have been silenced at every turn. No more.

          • JennaTrull

            I, too, am a whore… although given the law and my fear of being swept up in it, my services are more theoretical than applied. Never let them tell you that you aren’t doing a good thing for the world! Making lonely men feel loved for a moment (or at least getting the lust out of their system) is a service to humanity, not a sin.

          • Elle

            Right on! I absolutely concur. I know what I provide is a worthwhile and much needed therapeutic modality. I see a lot of couples as well as individuals. I’ve witnessed lives transform. It is a healing art and so much more.

          • JennaTrull

            *smiles* I kind of want to give you my email address. For the sake of my privacy, I’ll only post it temporarily here, so let me know that you receive email confirmations of replies and I’ll be able to immediately delete it without anyone but you seeing. I’d like to trade war stories sometime.

          • Elle

            I was at work the last several hours and just now saw your message. Feel free to contact me via denverDominatrix.com

          • Elle

            The criminalization of prostitution is its own category of human rights violations. Try reporting rape as an erotic service provider. In Cali and other regions sex workers who’ve been sexually assaulted have been denied access to victims funds. You risk being arrested if you report crimes committed against you including being forced to do sex labor.

          • JennaTrull

            It sounds like you know the score, Sister. As a former stripper turned phone sex operator, I live in fear of being raped because the basic effect of society’s attitude will be that it amounts to little more than “shoplifting.” No shit. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/11/01/judge-criticized-for-considering-gang-rape-on-prostitute-theft-services.html

          • ThomasJefferson

            You need to check your facts. Dope growing IS legal. Pigs, being pigs, serving their own pig shit agenda is the problem. if you are not one of them, and yet are a member of the community, that continue to allow the porkers to draw a check, you are as criminal as those who are SUPPOSEDLY, upholding the law

          • Kaionicexchange

            Dope growing is legal? Sending all the dope out of state is legal? Pretty sure it’s not. Pretty sure medical growers need to be able to show to whom their medial pot goes.
            Thomas Jefferson, how many slaves did he own? How Ironic, an article about slave labor and rape and here is Thomas Jefferson.

          • ThomasJefferson

            In the part of the country THIS was speaking of (Northern California) IT IS LEGAL. How Ironic, you can dig up one item , out of an otherwise great mans resume, (who told you that, I know you’re not sharp enough to be cognizant of it on our own) and yet somehow make him a rapist(?)!! Why don’t you get someone to teach you how to READ, and then get you a REAL history book, instead of the revisionist history you children have been taught and REALLY learn about those you THINK you know something about.If you really knew what you were talking about, among OTHER things, you would know that Jefferson GREW what we today, call MARIJUANA. And PLEASE don’t exhibit your stupidity, (and the TOTALLY erroneous argument that is commonly regurgitated) in ATTEMPTING to refute that.

          • Kaionicexchange

            Dope growing is legal in “northern California”? What about the rest of the state? You’re wrong, commercial growing is not legal.

  • Nottheonly1

    Business as usual since before 1789.

  • Elle

    Be very careful here! The human rights violations you speak of in terms of the criminalization of marijuana apply across the board to prostitution also! Criminalizing prostitution has created a black market where labor abuses and human rights violations flourish. You are also treading on the ground of false narratives related to prostitution and sex trafficking and risk promoting false narratives generated by anti prostitutionists who’ve been diligently working to further criminalize consensual prostitution (a vast majority of erotic services and providers are not underage or forced) The criminalization of prostitution is failed policy and causes the very violations you speak of to defend marijuana. As a long time member of the erotic service provider community and as an activist working to decriminalize prostitution to prevent these violations and give providers the benefit of equal protection under law I must suggest that you do some research here. Our online decrim related algorithms are already buried under marijuana decrim algorithms as it is! We don’t need marijuana activists catering to the false narratives which hurt our community and our efforts to emancipate ourselves! Apply your decrim logic to our community too. Cops are having sexual contact with prostitutes during investigations to arrest us. It is COMMON. And LEGAL. cops are coercing sex and raping us. Laws are arbitrarily enforced leaving huge room for corruption and abuse including extortion. Victims of forced sex labor can’t report for fear of arrest because victims of trafficking including minors are ARRESTED as a part of their ‘rescue’. Narratives regarding forced sex labor in the USA are GREATLY exaggerated and many of the popular narratives (average age of entry 12-14) have been debunked. But this doesn’t prevent the woozle effect (Google it) from passing BS off as factual. You are guilty of the woozle effect in this very article likely because you don’t know enough about prostitution and sex trafficking to speak to the subject accurately is my guess.

    Please help us to have access to our human rights instead of adding to the problem.

  • Elle

    The exact backwards happened here in Denver. A massage parlor was raided by the FBI investigating sex trafficking. The Asian parlor was connected to a nail salon. The nail salon was not investigated for labor trafficking. The question was posed as to why? I mean come on, IF there was in fact forced sex labor going on what are the chances of forced labor in the nail salon? What about those ‘victims’? Why wasn’t the nail salon investigated too? The FBI answers: no budget to cover that.

    The vast majority of labor trafficking is NOT sex related. This is confirmed by the us state departments annual trafficking in persons report but OH WELL.

  • Elle

    Cops police prostitution FOR PROFIT as well! We have bounties on our heads! More arrests equate to more funding! They’re doing the same old prostitution stings where mostly consenting ADULTS are being arrested and we are talking people who are not victims of sex trafficking according to the legal definition- and it’s being called a sex trafficking sting! New speak. This was done purposely. Forced sex labor and consensual prostitution has been purposely conflated. Who can argue with ‘save the slaves’? Meanwhile the whole thing from the law enforcement agencies to the non profit industrial complex known as ‘the rescue industry’ is just one big money scam!!!! Learn about it here: The American Rescue Industry: Toward an Anti-Trafficking Paramilitary http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30060-the-american-rescue-industry-toward-an-anti-trafficking-paramilitary

    • JennaTrull

      Honey, EVERYTHING is policed for profit these days. People just stopped caring, so don’t expect them to muster up a lot of outrage for sex workers. Women like you and me are lower than scum to some pretty powerful people and that terrifies me. (I have two daughters who just turned 18 and 21.)

    • JennaTrull

      I do believe that there have been cases of grown women being charged with trafficking themselves. Do you know anything about that?

      • Elle

        Alaska. However due to the diligence and efforts of Maxine Doogan and Terra Burns that law was changed recently and in addition, sex workers in Alaska can safely report without being arrested when they are witnesses or victims of crimes. That’s a first in the USA thanks to these ladies. https://youtu.be/22k0g04wG74

  • Elle

    Here’s more info on the fraudulent ‘rescue industry’ a new arm of the prison industrial complex

    • JennaTrull

      Basically, any kind of criminalization because profitable once our government sold a portion of its prisoners to private corporations for slave labor and embezzlement, which is exactly what you’d call it if any other industry took taxpayer money for a specific purpose (like food and hygiene supplies for prisoners) and put it in their pockets instead.