Hopewell Valley Student Podcasting Network
Show Name: Speaking for the Silenced
Episode 9: Sex Trafficking: Part 2
Tune into this week’s episode of #SpeakingfortheSilenced!
You are listening to Speaking for the Silenced podcast with your host(s) Jacqueline Sun.
In this episode of Speaking for the Silenced, we will be focusing on two stories of sex trafficking that occured in New Jersey, not far from where we are now.
Segment 1: Trenton
- In January of 2018, state troopers found a 17 year old girl was found alone, in the middle of the night on the side of Interstate 295 (
- Eventually she revealed she was sex trafficked by Ashley Gardener and Breon Mickens of Trenton
- For the days before she was found, Gardener had arranged between 5 and 15 men for the teen per day
- While Gardener was the so-called mastermind of the operation, Mickens did the grunt work
- As of 2021, Mickens has been sentenced to 5 years in prison while Gardener has received 50.
- This is a reminder that sex trafficking is a very real and present threat.
- The next story will focus on the an international human trafficking ring exposed in 2021 run by a considerably larger group.
Segment 2: Group Trafficking
- In early February of 2021, Authorities announced the charging of 22 members of a sex trafficking operation that made its base in Bergen County.
- More than 50 women, most of them immigrants from Mexico, were caught up as victims
- Had over 1500 clients
- Victims ranged from anywhere in the late teens to the mid-30s
- They were promised jobs and shelter but were then forced into prostituion
- The crime ring was reportedly bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars every month from the work of the captive women
- The women were compensated with half of what was paid for the prostitution, but most of it was used to pay off their “debt”
- Currently, the prosecutor’s office is coordinating efforts with the Covenant House to provide shelter and crisis care for the 50 plus women rescued from the trafficking sting.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Speaking for the Silenced! See you soon!
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