TAPS is a survivor-run group that helps victims of sex trafficking to break free. You can reach us at https://www.facebook.com/TraffickingandProstitutionServicesOnline/ We also help family members and other loves ones to "retrieve" someone they feel is either trapped into sex work. If you are a parent - you can get help at www.swanfellowship.webs.com. This is the author's personal opinion and since written in the USA is protected under rights of free speech.
1. He was convicted of taking a bribe - yet to do this means they know who he got the bribe from. Okay so where's the case against the people who bribed him? Why hasn't this person(s) been even charged yet?
2. HIs case illustrates a HUGE problem we have in this country with respect to the type of education we have now out there educating people like airport security on things like how he operated for all that time walking right past everyone and operating in plain sight for years. The reasons were as many people told me that they "had no idea what to do about it". Which I understand. I'll explain why - when I first suspected there was someone involved in the trafficking ring connected to "Operation Dollhouse" in 2007 who was involved with Immigration and/or Homeland Security at that time I had no clue who to report those suspicions to. Internal Affairs? Nope. Okay who? I found myself repeatedly being turned over to the very people I was trying to report with instructions to "file your report there". Well wait a minute - that's who I'm trying to report! Now I'm a pretty persistent person so I continued on looking for "who" to report issues to. However when I would find other sources to go to I'd also find that person there also.
Here's an example - I was preparing to file a report against Lt. Karen Hughes of Las Vegas Metro. When I went to make a report I was told she was the head of the Vice Dept., and not just an officer on the department. Okay so who do I go to then to make a report? Chief of Police. Okay guess what? Karen Hughes was the CHIEF of N. Las Vegas Police ALSO at the same time she was head of the Vice Dept. Internal Affairs then right? Wrong. She was ALSO head of Internal Affairs for N. Las Vegas. Then when I went to someone in Clark County to complain I was told "oh no you have to go back to talk to so and so" who was where Karen was the head of. So I go to the Clark County Chief - only that was Chief Gillispie who I had filed a complaint about also because of the same case. When I had tried making a report to Chief Gillispie - within 24 hours all evidence had been completely cleaned up, covered up, and cast to the wind not to be found again. So making a report seemed to only serve as notice for the people involved to go clean up their tracks.
It was only after a A LOT of digging I found there was an Office of Professional Responsibility and THEY were the ones who opened an investigation into Joohoon finally, among others.
3. Leading to the next problem. They were only able to charge him with "bribery" and not "sex trafficking" because he had immunity because of having used the taxpayers' money to buy the plane tickets for these victims, and company time while "on the job" to also do these things. So let me get this straight - do sex trafficking while also on the Homeland Security team and you're immune? And the taxpayers pay for your overhead?
Whoopie - let's just start funneling sex traffickers into the Homeland Security office shall we? Which sadly I have been hearing is exactly the case. Why? Not only was he given immunity from prosecution for what he did but all of these officers and agents who get exposed for this type of thing are RETIRING WITH THEIR PERSIONS.
So get caught - and you don't go to jail and you retire with a pension. Let me ask you something - is that a deterrent or a recruiting poster?
I know this, Joohoon was driving up to his sentencing hearing while working as a limo driver for CLS Limo. Who is that? A company owned by Charles Horkey. Who is that? Only a guy who was convicted of drugging his customers and then maxing out their credit cards and sex trafficking women. He further used his company to target men who were frequenting strip clubs, brothels, massage parlors, etc., because once they found out they had been drugged and robbed - he was threatening to get them fired from their jobs and their wives to kick them out of the house by exposing how they came to be in his limo in the first place. In other words, I think everything about his trial was a mockery of our legal system and was only done because I had been hounding the hell out of people for almost 10 years by the time he was finally charged with at least bribery. In other words, they wanted to do something where they could say "we did something" while in reality changing nothing. It was a "show" not unlike when Pablo Escobar was pretending to a "businessman" while in reality getting extradition laws passed to save his own ass and allow him to walk into a jail he built with a back door. What a mockery!
A guy who made a complete mockery by the way of the Nevada legislature. How? Charles Horkey of CLS Limo had got a lobbyist. A lobbyist who was shared with Live Nation, who managed Charlie Sheen and Snoop Dogg to name just two interesting clients, with the Cupcake Girls. The Cupcake Girls then flew into Nevada in 2011 - the same year that Snoop Dogg and Charlie Sheen retained Live Nation to manage them by the way, and who had secrets in Nevada to cover up. So the Cupcake Girls flies into town offering free money for this and free money for that all while passing out make-overs, free cupcakes, etc., to working girls in town while not requiring them to do any pesky old thing like get off drugs, leave their pimp or quit the sex industry in order to get these perks - and then they make this outrageous claim that "women with a prostitution record can't find work with those records" in order to get a law passed which wipes out that record with only a judge's signature.
Now our group, www.sexworkersanonymous.com, had been in Nevada since the 1980's and we didn't have one single problem getting anyone coming to us for help with a job outside of sex work so why the bogus claim? There's only one thing you need in Nevada you can't get with a prostitution conviction on your record - and that's a license to work at a legal brothel in Nevada. Period. Now the only other way to get those records dismissed or expunged previously was to (1) come in with a lawyer to get the case redone entirely, or (2) come into our group and actually quit the sex industry, get off drugs, and then with work we'd do jointly with the court show them your life had changed - and then you can get your records over turned. Something the brothels don't want to bother when when wanting to hire a woman with a record I assure you.
If you look at all of the press done by the Review Journal into the Cupcake Girls at that time, not one word was mentioned about how our program had no problem finding jobs for callers to our hotline in over 30 years, nor was any mention made of the fact one of their own board members had a record for prostitution yet she was holding down a union job all this time and yet she didn't have any problems either finding work with a conviction. You see not one word is mentioned about our program who had given a press conference in 2007 about the issue of sex trafficking in Nevada - so it's a clear omission of anything to do with us like we don't even exist. In other words, the Nevada assembly participated in a complete sham designed to benefit the legal brothel industry of Nevada at the expense of the one group who has been helping victims of those same brothels since the 1980's. Something easy to do when you have men like Joohoon David Lee in your pocket threatening anyone, including us, who gets in the way also of these powers that be.
If you dig into the dates - you can see that heads didn't start rolling until the same year that Oscar Goodman ceased being the mayor of Las Vegas. The year he steps down is the same year that Chief Gillispie gets arrested, Charles Horkey gets arrested, Karen Hughes decides to split the scene before an Internal Affairs investigation can get launched into her actions, and it's just like one long list of heads rolling after he steps down. Meaning anyone can see who was propping up these guys. Can anyone say "my son is the prosecutor" by the way? Look it up - Oscar Goodman's son was the Las Vegas prosecutor for some time. Might explain why Buffalo Jim had enough GHB in his system to kill 10 elephants in a toxicology report which had to be stolen from the coroners office for everyone to see it - yet when it was released finally no cases were filed against against anyone despite the well known fact Rick Rizzolo had put a hand written death threat on Jim's car handle the day he was released from prison. In fact, it was his first reported action upon release from jail.
Anyway, what's being done about it? Has the trainings been changed to show the airport security what to do when they suspect someone on their team or another employee is the one involved in sex trafficking? No because the committees who made the trainings were overseen by men just like Joohoon David Lee who were making sure that the trainings avoided anything to do with something like them by making sure they were on these committees making the trainings and survivors of this type of trafficking from groups like ours were completely shut out of the process. Kind of like asking Nazi's to make training films on how to chase down Nazi's to bring them to justice in other words. Kind of a joke actually when you look back now - but no one wanted to listen to us saying this was a bad idea when it was going down because "who the hell we were" but just a bunch of survivors who knew how those things operated right?
But when the funding to pay for the training was hijacked out from under us and handed to the "faith based groups" as George W. did with the revision to the TVRA of 2002 which accomplished this - well again then it's like handing over the money to create pro-choice training materials by pro-life groups. What you get are training tapes that serve Joohoon's purpose entirely - which was to get eyes off him and onto his "competitors". This way he gets to shut down the competitors to his operation while supporting his won. Kind of like putting Al Capone in charge of the shutting down of bootleggers during Prohibition.
The same funding which would be needed to create any type of campaign to have the laws changed to make sure that guys like him are prevented from being in positions where they can do this again, as well as to get laws passed which would remove the immunity from what they did and also to take away their pensions when caught doing such things to American men and women. Which is why I applaud this press for talking about what's going on right here with these agents right now - it's showing why we have to have an "outside" agency that's (1) survivor led, and (2) not dependent upon government money who can have their jobs threatened, or their grants threatened, in order to silence them from talking against people they see in the system who are engaging in not just corruption but also domestic sex trafficking.
All while the Cupcake Girls was probably on the receiving end of some of that $10 million Charlie admits spending to try and cover his ass. Charlie admits starting to spend it in 2011 - same year they start flying into Nevada throwing around money and "making friends" while pushing our group over to the side. Why? We didn't report back to Charlie Sheen about the whereabouts of sex workers who were admitting they knew about his HIV positive status, among other things. Nor did the information we get on our hotline wind up in a computer database people like Constable Bonaventure are able to tap into whenever they get an itch to do illegal background checks on porn stars as he was caught doing. A database that collects information on sex workers to which we don't contribute.
Why else where this group given a "hospitality suite" at the AVN awards. For what? Giving out free make-overs? That sure would piss off hair stylists and make-up artists who make their living off doing that sort of thing for a living. No again this is about "putting on a show" while pumping for information being used for purposes other than what it was intended to be used for. And making real darn sure anyone in trouble doesn't know about hotlines like ours not connected to, or under the control of, men like Joohoon David Lee before he got caught and was also on all the trafficking task forces and projects in the tri-state area of CA, NV, and AZ as he was. I'll guarantee you while he was in office not one single case of legitimate sex trafficking was reported. A fact then twisted up by SWOP to make another false claim they "don't exist".
That's like a dog catcher shooting any dogs he sees on sight and then when returning to the point at the end of the day saying "I don't have any dogs so wherefore dogs must not exist". I saw that game in 2007 when ATLAS came into Nevada with over a million dollars in grant money, who refused any of our calls on behalf of victims in NV, and then at the end of 2007 said "zero cases reported" while our hotline had clocked 300 calls from NV victims alone that year. A fact the media never heard about because also of ATLAS and men like Lee speaking up over our voices and the media refusing to listen to anything us survivors had to say on the issues.
When Joohoon was first arrested all I heard was "this was just one bad apple" so I want to thank you for doing this story and proving that no this was not just "one bad apple" to be buried under the rug and ignored.
We have a SERIOUS problem in this country and it's one that I devoted my life to changing in 1984 when I took a warehouse and turned it into the first safe house for adult sex trafficking victims in the USA. NOT PIMPING VICTIMS MIND YOU - BUT TRAFFICKING VICTIMS. Difference? Back in 1984 if you had a pimp problem you called 911 and he was arrested immediately. However, trafficking victims as they're called now were viewed as mobsters were before the RICO Act was passed - as not existing at all. So they were being ignored completely or treated as "criminals". Hence why the only thing I could think of to do was create the warehouse for them as a "safe house". Only to find myself falsely arrested and charged as "running a brothel" to cover up the evidence of what that warehouse represented.
So I regrouped and came back with our 12 step program and hotline in 1987 which was the first ever to provide an "alternative to incarceration" for these victims. It was our work and our stories and members who all made the Trafficking Act of 2000 pass. Only what's happened is the system has agreed to stop arresting the females as "prostitutes" in exchange for being able to do two things (1) they're not just arresting the "johns" who we need as witnesses to the sex trafficking who now can't speak up because they're incriminate themselves further which is not only just silencing them, but it's driving them into "legal" venues to get their needs met which makes finding victims even harder to do so than now, thus encouraging and protecting real sex traffickers, and (2) taking the drug war off being waged on African American men and instead "doubling down" on them 10 times HARDER under the smoke screen of calling them now "sex traffickers". So in reality the prisons are now releasing one drug addict and putting two "traffickers" back in for longer sentences!
What a complete mockery this whole thing is making of our legal system again! Things have got to change and one can't write up policy on how to help an alcoholic get sober without involving Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous as they've been doing. We are the only ones who don't have some political or financial "dog in this race". All we're trying to do is to get help to those who want help to leave sex work INCLUDING those forced into it by pimps and sex traffickers as well as poverty, mental illness, disability, lack of education, etc. Something we can't do while men like him are in charge of the systems we need to be a part of.
The end result is that when victims like Celeste Guap feel they have nowhere to go for help other than the media - and then when they ask for help they're carted off to some program by cops where they're framed, their case is completely compromised, and they further are facing now criminal charges trumped up against them designed to shut them up in the same identical manner as was done to me in 1984 to shut me up - we got a problem when we've not made any progress in these 30 years separating her case and mine yet a lot of people have received a lot of money to supposedly help us. Instead all that money has gone into one huge data collection such as what Polaris represents who has now "partnered" with Google and Palantir Technologies who is pushing to fed medical data on victims into computers which are then just stolen from them by the traffickers - again supporting sex trafficking by default.
It's all got to change and the evidence you've provided here shows he was not "just a bad apple" but in fact representative of why we have to change the systems offering help to these victims today. Thank you for doing this because they sure aren't listening to just us about this issue.