The POP hasn’t posted in a while. In part because of family health issues (all good, thank God) and in part because I’ve been working on a new project – a podcast – more on that to come. But I’d meant to post another congratulatory note to the new U.S. Attorney in Nevada, Nicholas Trutanich, back in January, for his public commitment to combat human trafficking, that is, child prostitution (i.e. the rape of those unable to legally consent to sexual acts) in Las Vegas.
Like Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) this was another initiative started on my watch, way back in 1999, at the request of LVMPD.
Metro Vice was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of state action against pimps who routinely trafficked juvenile girls along the “track”, cities where there was money to be made in this sordid business, including Las Vegas. Based upon the prior successes, they had confidence that my office could step things up.
Having never done such a case, I nevertheless committed to personally handle the first one, rather than assign it to someone in my section.
I thought this gesture meaningful, inasmsuch as I was the Chief of the Narcotics and Violent Crime Section, and I was willing to tackle the job myself.
So I asked Metro’s point man, Sgt. Vic Vigna, to bring me the offender they thought most worthy of federal attention.
They selected a notorious, child-abusing, low-life who called himself “Gorgeous Dre” or alternatively “The Big Pimp”. Metro identified him as a major interstate panderer of juveniles, and added that he was so obnoxiously ego-maniacal that he regularly chided the police, guaranteeing them that he would never be successfully prosecuted, because none of his girls would ever turn on him.
We took a decidedly different approach to these cases. The kids were victims, not criminals. We would address ways to gain their trust, and lock them in with Grand Jury testimony while their minds were right, and before they were reunited with their pimps, who pursued them relentlessly. This was done with the critical assistance of Dr. Lois Lee, a champion of such victims, and founder of Children of the Night.
We learned that vice officers from major cities along the track were in close contact, but not organized. The FBI would join the fight; with nationwide subpoena power, we would prove up additional instances of Taylor’s despicable crimes in those other cities We called upon the IRS to buttress our cases with money laundering charges. These mutts lived like kings, but had no legitimate sources of income; hence their fortunes had to have been made by peddling the flesh of children. And, of course, they didn’t pay taxes. Jurors were always offended by that tidbit.