Hope for Justice is doubling its efforts to fight human trafficking in the United States, by building a team of investigators based in the Midwest.
Our second US investigative hub will be based in Iowa, where our newly-recruited team will identify and support victims of human trafficking, support local law enforcement with investigative work, and carry out training to ensure people can spot the signs of human trafficking and know how to report them.
The expert and multi-skilled team will be led by our newly-appointed Senior Investigator David Gonzalez, who has 25 years’ experience as a police detective, with expertise in major crimes including human trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation.
Over the past year, David has also received several accolades for his anti-trafficking work, including the US Attorney’s Office human trafficking investigation and prosecution award, and the Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police Anti-Human Trafficking Award.
David said: “I am so excited to have joined Hope for Justice and to be able to use my skills and experience to progress our fight against human trafficking. I can’t wait to work with my new colleagues, local law enforcement and our local partners to change the lives of victims of human trafficking in the Midwest.”
Richard Schoeberl, US Investigations Team Leader at Hope for Justice, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be opening our new hub, as we’ll now be able to rescue, support and train so many more people.
“I would like to thank our supporters, as without their ongoing commitment, we would not be able to do all that we do to create a world free of human trafficking.”
Richard Schoeberl tells us more about the new team and the difference it is set to make in the video below:
Our first investigative hub in the United States is based in Tennessee. Over the past two years, the team has investigated 115 cases of human trafficking, which have led them to rescue 66 people trapped in exploitation such as forced prostitution or forced labor.
The hub team has also trained over 20,000 professionals and individuals to spot the signs of human trafficking and know how to report them.