New Mexico World Day against Trafficking in Persons July 30 2020 Committed To The Cause - Working On The Frontline To End Human Trafficking

New Mexico World Day against Trafficking in Persons

July 30 2020

Committed To The Cause - Working On The Frontline To End Human Trafficking

In keeping with the international United Nations World Day Against Trafficking In Persons theme, we want to spotlight the contributions of some of New Mexico’s organizations and teams that remain committed to combatting human trafficking during the COVID pandemic. Here we wish to express our gratitude and admiration for their continued anti-trafficking work, and to raise awareness of these efforts that need to be replicated, sustained, and expanded in our state. These are the people who work in different sectors - identification, support, counseling, and pursuit of justice for victims of trafficking, and challenging the impunity of the traffickers.

In the process of reaching out to these agencies, it became clear that this could easily be a book publication on the amazing and innovative ways New Mexico is combatting human trafficking. It is also clear how dedicated each and every individual within these agencies is to the victim/survivors of this crime. For now, please enjoy the (very limited) newsletter version.

We invite you to take some time and read through some of the exciting work being done in our state. Often, because our work is demanding and time intensive, we forget that we are not alone in our anti-trafficking efforts, so please read on about our many NM partners in the fight to end human trafficking.

New Mexico Dream Center

Shelley Repp, Director

*Spoken For

Jazmine Goodman, Director of Operations

*The Harbor (DMST/Youth Services)

Nicole Melchor, Program Manager

New Mexico Dream Center, and its programs, Spoken For and The Harbor, provides face to face street outreach, case management services, drop-in resources, and wraparound care for youth and adult survivors. They provide a caring person to talk with, sustenance, advocacy, housing and shelter resources for HT victims in the greater Albuquerque area. During COVID, they have not slowed down, or closed their doors, to the exploited and trafficked individuals desperately needing vital street-based, drop-in, and aftercare resources. Many an advocate from various service and law enforcement organizations in Albuquerque and beyond can attest to the high level of response, collaboration, care coordination, and resource sharing that the New Mexico Dream Center provides.

New Mexico Office of Attorney General

Anthony Maez, Commander/NM Internet Crimes Against Children

Special Agent Adam Arellano - 505-401-4591

Special Agent Deanna Young - 505-377-4466

Special Agent Mandi Abernathy - 505-220-8248

Special Agent, Investigations, Donni Herrera - 575-382-2562

NMOAG special agents, Adam, Deanna, Mandi, and NM State Police agent Donni, provide unwavering commitment to responding to HT cases statewide and will respond whenever needed. They are dedicated to ongoing HT investigations, Internet Crimes Against Children investigations, advocacy, victim service coordination, partnering with providers and law enforcement, victim protection, and prosecutions.

CVRC (New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission)

Frank Zubia, Director

Jacqueline Sanchez, State Investigator Supervisor 505-946-8964

Moises Valdez, Compensation Bureau Chief

Julie Rivera, VINE-Victim Liaison/Victim Advocate

CVRC provides reparations to NM crime victims, service coordination/referrals to agencies statewide, and funding for emergency shelter (access/assistance), transportation, sustenance, transitional housing, medical and other safety needs during COVID and other crisis/emergencies. For many HT victims around New Mexico, there would be very little, if any, help without CVRC’s support and collaboration with law enforcement, service providers, and statewide advocates.

Department of Homeland Security

Morgan Langer, Group Supervisor

Sean Murphy, Special Agent

Derek Mohrhauser, Special Agent

DHS continues to investigate human trafficking during the COVID pandemic. They are, as always, quick to respond to tips, advocate requests for interviews, and safety needs of survivors. DHS has always been reachable, responsive, and genuinely concerned for victim health and wellness, often coordinating with providers for shelter, phone, and other critical safety needs. Their ongoing statewide collaboration and dedication to combatting human trafficking is respected and honored by advocates and agencies around the state.

CYFD New Mexico

Casey Tharpe, Fostering Connections Specialist - 505-795-2350

Lori Lavasek, Youth Transition Specialist

Marta Orr, Permanency Planning Worker - 505-250-9176

Farra R. Fong, Office of Transition-Aged Youth - 505-484-8412

Yolanda Padilla, Behavioral Health Clinician - 505-469-0005

Carmen Romero, Fostering Connections Specialist 505-681-2489

For many displaced and traumatized youth, the above individuals tirelessly (usually with humor and positivity) provide statewide crisis response, care coordination, advocacy, clothing, shelter, safety planning, needs assessments, community connection, transportation coordination, and recovery planning for New Mexico’s exploited and at-risk youth. We send gratitude out to these amazing CYFD/CPS workers that continue to respond to our youth in the face of COVID, managing challenging case loads over large geographic areas, and scarce resources.

Domestic Violence Resource Center, ABQ

Karol Thieme, Victim Advocate - 505-730-5585

Karol is the advocate that won’t leave, or fall asleep, on a victim, no matter how late it gets. Karol provides Domestic Violence and HT advocacy, accompaniment to medical care, case management, will drive around at night to get food and clothing resources, accompany victim with law enforcement, and coordinate shelter and housing with state-wide agencies.

For The One

Toya Kaplan, Executive Director

For the One continues to provide education, awareness, and support for survivors through the pandemic. They recognize that the world may have slowed, but trafficking has not and neither will they. Many thanks for their generosity and willingness to provide for the special needs of human trafficking survivors at the request of other advocates and agencies around the state.

La Pinon Sexual Assault Recovery Services

Keri Nunez, Office Manager (and the most patient person in NM)

Mariana Landaverde, HT/Legal Advocate - 575-910-3370

La Pinon continues to provide shelter, advocacy, housing support and case management to individuals in Las Cruces. Mariana is always helpful in responding to victim needs, coordinating services and resources for survivors, and, if you are unfamiliar with our state’s southern geography, and need advice on how to help a victim in remote areas, she can provide information on resources and services. Keri, we all appreciate you keeping things going when it comes to accessing emergency funds statewide for HT victims.

First Nations - EAST and CARES

Linda Son-Stone, Director

Michelle Curtis, Case Manager

Shelane Rosales, Case Manager

Cindy Charley, Case Manager

Stephanie Keys, Case Manager

First Nations’ advocates are always available and ready to help. They provide face-to-face advocacy, collaborate with providers and law enforcement on victim safety and stabilization, provide street outreach, crisis response, shelter, medical and sustenance advocacy, and coordinate mental health and trauma recovery services for victims in the greater Albuquerque area. Thank you for not slowing down when the world did (due to COVID), and for your dedication in continuing to provide positive regard and person to person connection to exploited and at-risk individuals.

The Life Link

Lynn Sanchez Program Director, HT Aftercare

Maureen Lomahaptewa, Victim Specialist/HT Safe House Manager

Heather Atsye, Victim Specialist, HT Transitional Housing Manager

The Life Link continues to provide long term aftercare services, crisis response, shelter, transitional and long term housing, and case management services to HT victims. During this time of COVID, new innovations using communication and technologies are being utilized for for victim response. The Life Link has a dedicated staff that respond face-to-face with survivors in crisis. A special shout out to Maureen, who has guided many such survivors into safe house shelter from around the state, all hours of the day and night, and is probably one of New Mexico’s leading experts on how you can never use enough PPE, educating survivors on COVID, and how to convey a smile of reassurance with just your eyes.

505-GET FREE (438-3733) New Mexico Human Trafficking Hotline

Dallas Grassbaugh, CPSW, Survivor/Advocate - 505-660-5960

Ebony Archie, Survivor/Advocate - 505-470-3260

The New Mexico Human Trafficking hotline provides a state-based response to HT victims. 505-GETFREE is a human trafficking survivor-led resource, referral, and crisis response line. Advocates will respond in person to Albuquerque victims if needed, and as survivors with shared experiences, can help build the bridge of trust between law enforcement and victims. You can call or text 505-438-3733, 24/7, even if you just want to say hi and introduce yourself, or add your resource to the HT referral list. 505-GETFREE is merging with Seattle Against Slavery’s Freedom Signal, a victim outreach program that will allow them to outreach survivors anywhere in the state with web-based technology. More information on that project will be coming soon.

Street Safe NM/Courtyard (direct) 505-999-1393

Christine Barber, Executive Director

Cindy Jaramillo, Advocate

Kylea Good, Advocate

Street Safe NM fearlessly connects with women living on the street, including those who are being trafficked, by operating a drop-in center (the Courtyard) and through face to face street outreach. They provide basic hygiene and survival essentials, housing coordination and referrals, transportation, case management, and COVID-specific resources such as face masks and hand sanitizer. Street Safe NM has been reaching out to HT survivors for many yearsusing a humanistic, person-centered approach, rapport building and offering basic survival needs. Often, the Street Safe advocates are the only non-predatorial human contact survivors have.

United States Office of the Attorney General

Alyssa Skrepcinski, Victim-Witness/LEC Specialist - 505-224-1427

Alyssa continues to respond to victim needs through statewide coordination of resources and services, safety referrals, victim protection, and survivor rights enforcement. Thank you for taking on web-based news organizations to protect survivor dignity and right to privacy.


Thank you for providing COVID emergency response grants!

New Mexico Immigrant Law Center

Lauren Keenan, Supervising Attorney

Deshawnda Chaparro, Equal Justice Works Crime Victim Justice Corps Fellow, Attorney - 505-247-1023

Gratitude for these dedicated, savvy immigration attorneys that serve and put in the time for our most vulnerable HT survivors, who probably wouldn’t otherwise have access to legal guidance, assistance and protectio

Dream Tree Project

Katherine Hummel, Executive Director - 575-224-2382

Housing and compassionate support for youth in crisis. Emergency teen shelter is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Youth can drop in, call (575-758-9595), or text (575-770-7704), anytime.

Santa Fe Youth Shelter - 505-983-0586

Youth Shelters and Family Services has stayed open throughout the Covid pandemic and continues to serve homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in the following counties: Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Sandoval, McKinley, and Cibola. They provide advocacy, sustenance, tents and critical survival resources. They serve on average over 100 youth on any given day through their youth emergency shelter, street outreach, transitional living, counseling, pregnant and parenting programs, and rapid rehousing programs.

New Day Youth Shelter 505-938-1060

Shelter, food, clothing, street outreach, transitional living program, counseling, advocacy. They also provide Life Skills Academy, Transitional Housing, Juvenile Justice Diversion, and the I’d Eat That-New Day Food Cart programs. Thank you for continuing to support our at risk and exploited youth!

Federal Bureau of Investigations

Carla Romero, Victim Advocate - 505-681-0485

Carla has helped HT victims in New Mexico for many years, and she continues to respond to victim needs with unwavering dedication and care. FBI Victim Specialists will respond on scene at the request of an FBI special agent. COVID has not impacted the level of support she provides to HT victims, including around-the-clock emotional support, resource coordination, safety, and aftercare/stabilization planning.

Crime Strategies Unit - 505-553-2328

Kyle Hartsock, Special Agent in Charge

Christina Marquez, Special Agent

Mia Rael, Special Agent

CSU is one of New Mexico’s most technologically advanced investigative units. They utilize advanced digital extraction techniques, an expedited legal process, and trauma informed interviews to safely identify and capture evidence in human trafficking cases, without further traumatizing victims. Amidst the COVID pandemic, the CSU team continues to combat trafficking, with specialized agents, armed with advanced technology and trauma informed victim sensitivity.

Sojourners Advocacy Cafe@The Life Link - 505-983-4182

Lorraine Acuna, Manager/Advocate

Lorraine has been a calm presence in the face of crisis for over a decade. She has continued to provide advocacy, housing support, food boxes, phones, needs assessments, community connection, and the human connection to survivors of human trafficking during COVID. Many survivors in aftercare have expressed fear and confusion over the pandemic and its impact on their lives, and Lorraine continues to reassure, educate and encourage them.

CEHTTF (Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force)

Jonathan Chance (Ghost Unit)

Vincent Harrison (Ghost Unit)

Justin Roybal (Ghost Unit)

Kyle Woods, Sergent (Ghost Unit)

Kyle Hartsock, DA

Christina Marquez, DA, Special Agent

Daniel Fondse, FBI, Special Agent

Nancy Stemo, FBI, Special Agent

Percy Giles, FBI, Special Agent In Charge

COVID has not slowed down the drive to combat and end human trafficking in New Mexico. Through collaboration between FBI, Second DA office, BCSO Ghost Unit (and recently NMOAG and APD), the CEHTTF federal task force was formed in March, 2020. Among the agencies, 6 search warrants were executed and contact was made with several victims attempting to connect them to services. Most of the victims were juveniles. All of the dedicated members are excited about the cross-agency collaboration of this task force, and are actively responding during COVID.

Please use #EndHumanTrafficking and #HumanTrafficking on social media.


Lynn Sanchez - Program Director of Human Trafficking Aftercare/Co-chair of NM Human Trafficking Task Force