Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:40 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:40:29 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department issued a city watch for a 12-year-old boy Wednesday night. Robert McBride II was last seen leaving his residence on foot on Jamaica Avenue. He has a mohawk, andMore >>
The Memphis Police Department canceled a city watch for a 12-year-old boy Wednesday night.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:24 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:24:43 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Memphis skateboard shop was going under until the Grizzlies' big wins, that is when owner Hunter Demster started selling T-shirts. The "Grind City" shirts saved his Midtown business whichMore >>
A Memphis skateboard shop was going under until the Grizzlies' big wins, that is when owner Hunter Demster started selling T-shirts.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:11 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:11:49 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Cleanup has begun amid the rubble Oklahoma City Wednesday where an EF-5 tornado devastated the Moore community. More than 13,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, causing possibly $2 billionMore >>
Cleanup has begun amid the rubble Oklahoma City Wednesday where an EF-5 tornado devastated the Moore community.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:00 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:00:22 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Memphis mother defends her teenage son who is charged with murdering someone at a graduation party. Rebecca Miller and her son are anything but strangers to Action News 5. Our station helpedMore >>
A Memphis mother defends her teenage son who is charged with murdering someone at a graduation party.More >>
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) – The FBI calls it modern day slavery: humans for sale right here in Memphis. Men, women and sometimes children are for sale, and the criminals behind the enterprise are using some well known places to do business.
"A lot of times they literally are forced," said Jeremy Baker, a supervisory agent for the FBI. "Sometimes they're locked down. Sometimes they are beaten so bad they fear they can't leave or they're threatened with serious physical harm or even the threat of death."
According to Baker, human traffickers are targeting the Mid-South.
"Could be forced labor, could be sexual acts, could be sexual exploitation of children," he said.
A four-month investigation by the local human rights group Operation Broken Silence found most of the activity centers on sex, and much of it starts online.
"Before Craigslist had a lot of pressure placed on them, a lot of the ads were on Craigslist," said Ryan Dalton of Operation Broken Silence. "They have since moved to Backpage."
Backpage.com a web site where you can buy just about anything.
"Someone can log on to the web site and browse like they would for anything - a new car, a lawn mower, but they can also search for people," Dalton said.
According to Operation Broken Silence, during the last quarter of 2010, more than 1,900 ads posted on Backpage listed women for sale in the Memphis and Tunica region. The ads were for things like "Busty and Thick", "Sweet Treat", and "Super Sexy Irish Doll."
"A john will call that number," Dalton said. "He'll call the number of the person if he sees somebody he wants to have sex with, and the pimp or trafficker will answer."
The FBI says a lot of women on sites like this are forced into prostitution by traffickers, who bring them here under the guise they'll be doing legitimate work.
"They're forced to do this, which is something very different than they agreed to do," Dalton said.
And guess where it's happening the most in Memphis? According to this research, Sam Cooper Highway, Memphis International Airport and the Wolfchase Mall area. People aren't sold in these places – they're just pick-up points. Researchers say the Wolfchase shopping area is appealing to human traffickers because it's close to the interstate and there are lot of people with money in their pockets there.
Operation Broken Silence says Memphis International Airport is a hot spot to buy humans because of how many businessmen are traveling alone, and because it's close to strip clubs. The FBI says sex slaves are brought in from all over the Mid-South and around the world.
"The FBI views human trafficking and all civil rights violations as some of the most serious violations that we investigate," Baker said.
Attorneys General in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi joined 18 other states in asking Backpage.com to close its adult services section back in September. But it's still open, and busier than ever, though users must agree to report suspected exploitation of minors and human trafficking to the appropriate authorities.
But be warned: not only are the traffickers breaking the law, so are YOU if you're looking to buy humans for sale.
"With the advent of the digital age, people using the internet, social media, digital media more often, it's another avenue we can monitor things and see where possible criminal activity is occurring," Baker said.
A spokesperson for Backpage.com released a statement which said, "Backpage.com is committed to preventing those who are intent on misusing the site for illegal purposes. We have implemented a series of new safety enhancements over the past several months to better protect our communities and will continue to further increase our safety practices."
The FBI would not comment on the research conducted by Operation Broken Silence specifically, but they have seen the study.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:32 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:32:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage. One Germantown family said it only took one infected tick to change their entire lifestyle – something they have been dealing withMore >>
It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:46 PM EDT2013-05-22 20:46:13 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The man accused of killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon. Action News 5's Nick Kenney was there as Timothy McKinney was released. McKinney was accused ofMore >>
The man who pleaded guilty to killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:33 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:33:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The City of Memphis is saying "goodbye and good riddance" to blight. A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is nowMore >>
A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is now being demolished.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:48:12 GMT
(WMC-TV) - More jobs are coming to Memphis and city leaders are rolling out the red carpet to celebrate. Kruger Products is a leading nationwide towel and tissue manufacturer. The company announced theyMore >>
A Canadian company announced that are adding hundreds of jobs to its North Memphis office. Kruger Products rolled out the red carpet Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the expansion.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:48:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered. Frances Chambers has spent the past four years and a lot of money investigating the death of her son Demond. Police in herMore >>
A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered, despite the medical examiner's report. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:10:09 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system. Action News 5's Justin Hanson is speaking to longtime MCS teachers and volunteersMore >>
Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:22:48 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department fired two of its officers Wednesday. Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and violate regulation. In February, thereMore >>
Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and aid to violate regulation.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >>
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:49 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:49:28 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday. Inside Louise Rinhart's home is not much better. "Carpet and I got hardwoodMore >>
A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:13 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:13:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday. The firefighters offered piggyback rides to children toMore >>
Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday.More >>