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Reference Guide to Human Trafficking Headlines in Wisconsin

Since human trafficking often stays hidden in plain sight, many people do not think it is happening in their communities. So, we’ve created this reference guide to headlines across our home state in order to show a more realistic snapshot of a growing issue throughout Wisconsin and across the United States.

All articles in this post are current and date back through 2015. They are organized by region in this order: 

  • Northern Region 
    • Counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Washburn. Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas
  • Northeast Region
    • Counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago
  • South Central Region
    • Counties: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Grant, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk
  • Southeast Region
    • Counties: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha
  • West Central Region
    • Counties: Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, Wood

Historic or major cases that have taken place in Wisconsin are listed at the end of this guide.

Veteran Milwaukee Pimp Who Avoided Serious Convictions In The Past Sentenced To 45 Years In Prison

Article from October 2021 by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Focus: Sex Trafficking | Location: Milwaukee, WI. 

Related Article by the Department of Justice: Judge Sentences Milwaukee Man to 45 Years’ Imprisonment for Sex Trafficking


Men Were Forced To Work On Wisconsin Farms As Part Of Human-Trafficking Scheme, Federal Indictment Says

Article from May 2019 by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Focus: Labor Trafficking | Location: Racine, WI. 

Related Article from Milwaukee Independent: Labor Trafficking: Victims Accuse Wisconsin Farm Of Prison-Like Conditions And Exploitation


Labor Trafficking: Victims Accuse Wisconsin Farm Of Prison-Like Conditions And Exploitation

Article from September 2019 by Milwaukee Independent |  Focus: Labor Trafficking | Location: Racine, WI. Related Article from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Men Were Forced To Work On Wisconsin Farms As Part Of Human-Trafficking Scheme, Federal Indictment Says

Judge Sentences Milwaukee Man to 45 Years’ Imprisonment for Sex Trafficking

Article from 2021 by the Department of Justice | Focus: Sex Trafficking | Location: Milwaukee, WI. 

This is the longest sentence to date in Wisconsin for a sex trafficker. 

Related Article from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Veteran Milwaukee Pimp Who Avoided Serious Convictions In The Past Sentenced To 45 Years In Prison


Wisconsin Couple Who Kept Modern-Day Slave For 19 Years Deported To The Philippines

Article from 2012 by ICE.gov | Focus: Labor Trafficking | Location: Milwaukee, WI. 

This is the second-longest indentured-servitude case, which is a typology of human trafficking, that’s been investigated by Homeland Security. This was one of the first federal cases to be prosecuted under the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), and the first human trafficking conviction whose elements did not stem upon physical abuse, but rather through fraud and threatened deportation.