Covert Missions Against Multiple Trafficking Networks in the Dominican Republic Ep 013

About the Podcast

Welcome to another episode of Liberating Humanity. Today we delve into the intense, real-life operations aimed at rescuing children and combating child exploitation.

In this episode, host Paul Hutchinson shares the high-stakes encounters with ex-convicts, traffickers, and corrupt officials in the Dominican Republic as his team works tirelessly to uncover and dismantle child exploitation networks.

From tense negotiations in restaurants to undercover operations at adult clubs, Paul Hutchinson’s team navigates through treacherous challenges in their mission to liberate innocent children from the clutches of exploitation.

Join us in exploring the deep effects of childhood trauma, the transformative force of positive energy, and the crucial need to confront the underlying origins of abuse.

Link to our resources here

Transcript

Introduction

Paul Hutchinson [00:00:01]

This is the first time in the operations that we have broken rule number one. Rule number one, you’re never alone. Us when we’re undercover, we’re always with one of our other operators, why? To keep us safe. It’s this 2 by 2 system that I learned a long time ago that works really really well. Well we couldn’t send two guys so Andy gets on the motorcycle himself and they drive away 10 minutes passes 15, 20, 25, 30, 45 minutes passes. [Music] 

Paul Hutchinson [00:00:43]

Welcome to the Liberating Humanity podcast. I am Paul Hutchinson, your host.

Today we’re going to go back to another rescue story many years ago in a country called the Dominican Republic. Many of you have been there. The DR is one of my most favorite places on the planet, absolutely beautiful, the beaches are renowned throughout the world as some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere and the people, the people have really good hearts, they’re an amazing amazing culture. In fact the Dominican Republic was the very first colony here in the United States. It was colonized before any part of the continental United States was and has some interesting history.

Unfortunately, because of the fact that the Dominican Republic is fairly close to America it has gained the reputation of being a place for [ _ ] tourism. A place where Americans can go and engage in nefarious activities with some different criminals there whether it be with some [ _ ] parties with [ _ ] or in some cases there are people that go there in search of children that are being  [ _ ] and it was fairly prolific. Now that they have fixed a lot of the things in their country and we’ve gone back in, especially after the Sound of Freedom movie, the politicians were very interested in making changes that could positively impact the child [ _ ] issue that they had there for a long long time. So if you’re an American or thinking “oh wow that’s a great place to go for a [ _ ] tourism.” No, you’re going to get arrested and a lot of good things have happened since we were there and the story that I’m going to share with you right now. So the first thing that we did when we went into the Dominican is we sat down with one of the top federal agents who was very aware of the [ _ ] that was going on there and the other criminal activities and so we sat down and we we took out phones our map there and he started identifying different places that were known for this kind of [ _ ] activity and so a few of them were some different beaches, there was a plaza that was downtown and we  took notes copious notes of all of the places that we should go and identify people that were selling children. So we left him, went out, first thing we did is when went out to this beach area and immediately immediately within minutes there were people that were approaching us and there was one guy that Leo that came in and he immediately started saying, “hey you guys looking for some [ _ ]? What do you want?” And he says, “I have girls, you just tell me what kind of girls you want.” And we said, well what kind of girls do you offer? And he opened up his phone and without any conversation about whether they were older [ _ ] or younger you know heavy said, what doesn’t, he immediately showed us some pictures of some 14 and 15 years old children that he was selling. And so we exchanged contact information with him and said yeah, we’ll talk to our boss and let you know what our plans are. Then we went into this Plaza area and met a guy by the name of Eli. Eli was a street Hustler, he was out there selling [ _ ] and selling [ _ ] and he showed us a picture of a 14 year old that he said he could show us and I tell him, “listen our boss will kill us and kill me and my whole family if I taste the candy before the party but we have to verify you have it, so if you bring her to us so that we can verify you have what you say that you’re showing.” Then at that point we can either geotag the place if he takes us to where he’s keeping the kids or we can at least verify that these are true child [ _ ] and so sure enough there’s this bar area just on the outside of this plaza and early that evening, shows up with two girls, two children 13 years old and 14 years old. We said, yeah that’s what our boss is looking for here, exchange contact information with him and he said, “listen, if you’re really looking for somebody who’s connected, I work for a guy who’s a DJ, this DJ is named Little Wayne and he said, Little Wayne looks just like the rapper Little Wayne with the same hair and crazy clothes and everything else and he showed us a picture of this guy and he said, “I can introduce you to him, he’s super busy tonight but maybe tomorrow whatever.” I exchanged contact information with Eli just to make sure that we could recontact him and we give the information to the federal police every single night after our op. So we had collected information from Leo on the beach, we had collected information from Eli both of them had presented children either on their phones or in person that were verified miners. In fact when Eli brought these two children to this bar area immediately the manager recognized who they were and that they were children that were being sold. He sent one of the security guys over and instead of saying hey let’s rescue these kids or whatnot they immediately he says, “well you know what those girls are not allowed here, they are way too young to be here at the bar area and they were obviously 13, 14 years old.” So day two, the next day we go back in and one of the areas that the federal agent had identified was a super super dangerous area. he said this is an area that you’re not going to see American tourists very often but you have the highest chance of connecting with some of the low life of our country and the real [ _ ] who are selling children and doing other various things and so we go into this area and it’s a lot going on, I mean there’s motorcycles going around and it’s a really really busy area with  a lot of [ _ ] dealers there and then there’s this big heavy guy riding this motorcycle and he pulls over and goes, “hey what you guys want? What are you doing here?” We said, “We’re just looking around, just connecting with some people.” He goes, Hey why don’t you meet me and because of the fact that we were in a pretty seedy area of town, it’s obvious to these [ _ ] that we’re there for some [ _ ] activity and so without even any other discussion, he invites us to come and meet him at this restaurant. Now this guy was an excon, he had escaped from a US prison, had gone to the Dominican Republic, was running the The Gangs there, was s running a bunch of [ _ ] and he was selling children and so we sat down with him at this restaurant, tell him what we’re looking for and he says, oh yeah, why you come over with me to this club and I’ll show you exactly what you want. So we followed him a few blocks away and there was this club, it was in the middle of the day so this club wasn’t active and going but he talked to the club owner and the club owner went into a back room and brought out two very young girls and he said, yeah these are ones that we sell at the club and you’re welcome to have them for your party whatever else you need. So we of course geotagged that location so we knew exactly where he was keeping these children. So we exchange contact information with this excon, we then go back out into the street and I get this text from Leo, the guy that we met in the beach just the day before and he said, hey, I have some things to show you and so we meet him and he shows us some pictures a bunch of additional pictures on phone because he had been in contact with some other level two and level three [ _ ] who were holding the children. So he showed us 12 additional pictures on his phone of children that he could provide and he had access to. Now our goal at this point is to get past the Leo’s of the world and get to the people who are holding the children. We have to identify those locations because if we don’t then and if they don’t bring the children to the sting operation then we lose those kids, so if we can convince him to introduce us to whoever he’s working with or take us to the places that he is holding children, that’s the way that we get these kids out. So I told him, look you can show me pictures all day long but if you actually introduce us to the children so can verify for sure you have what my boss is looking for that these aren’t pictures from 15 years ago, 10 years ago whatever that they’re actively here right now then I’ll pay you some money for each one. And so he agreed and he took us to a location that was just off the beach and showed us six children. Introduced us to six different children and so we identified the location that he was keeping those kids. He said I have 10 more and some of the ones he showed us on his phone and a few others as well that we could have access to. So then I reached back out to Eli, the guy that we met the first day that brought us the 13, 14 year old that was there at the bar and I said, “Hey I really want to meet with your boss, I will pay you money to introduce me to him, when can we meet him?” And he goes, “Oh yeah, I come right now,he should be available this afternoon.” So his boss was Little Wayne and Eli takes us to this club. This is the seediest club I have ever seen and I’ve seen some seedy clubs in Haiti. There were some horrible, just unbelievable, the conditions in some of these clubs. This one, that Little Wayne was working at, unbelievable, how dirty this place was and the people that were all very obvious [ _ ]. Little Wayne was up there doing his little dj thing and he comes down he goes, “Hey, I’ve got some girls here to introduce you.” And we said, “No, we’re not here for our own entertainment, we’re here on business and we’re setting up something for our boss and we hear that you can provide what he’s looking for.” He said, “Yeah I can introduce you, I’m super busy tonight but how about we meet tomorrow and I can take you.” We said, fantastic! So I exchanged contact information with him as well. The next morning we got up and the excon introduced us to his right-hand man and he took us to a restaurant and brought a Madam. This Madam had two children with her, a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old. We did what we call the age test where you ask them in their native tongue, in this case Spanish, what year you were born and some of these older [ _ ] look younger. Both of these ones were 13-14 years old and they passed the age test. We exchanged extra contact information with Abraham’s right-hand guy so that we could identify where he was keeping these kids, instead of just him bringing in there in public. So then Eli was the guy who introduced us to Little Wayne. Little Wayne ends up being the biggest trafficker that we have found in a long long time and he was the one that we met at the club the night before. Well evidently, he wanted Eli to vet us a little bit better before he took us to the place that he was holding the kids and so Eli’s like, “look little Wayne wants me to hang out with you guys for just a bit, just to get a feel for you and stuff I’ll show you around the town.” And I say, “Yeah that’s fine.” So we’re hanging out with him and he takes us down this alley to a barber shop, this is a friend of Little Wayne’s and a friend of Eli’s. So a friend of the [ _ ] owns this barber shop and he said, “Hey, why don’t you get a haircut and a shave.” Now realize their shaves down there, they’re with the freaking blades, blades right and I’m like, “Yeah sure, why not.” I’m there with my friends, with my undercover operators. Now this was a [ _ ] way of seeing if I was at all uncomfortable with the people that were associated with him and the other [ _ ], if I was at all, if I had any level of fear whatsoever, laying there in a barber’s chair where they’re using a blade on my neck, knowing that he’s close friends with both of these verified [ _ ] that would be a super dangerous thing, a super stupid thing to do for the average person but maybe I kind of had a few screws loose, I don’t know. So I decided, Yeah absolutely, I’ll get a haircut. So I’m sitting there, I’ve got pictures with me and in this barber chair with little Wayne’s, this [ _ ] friend who’s given me a haircut and giving me a shave especially with this blade just scraping on my neck, one second he could slit my neck with that, I’d be done but what was interesting is that the level of trust with Eli as soon as I went there, went right through the roof, he immediately started sharing more things with some of my operators while I was getting the shave and when I was all done he said okay, Now little Wayne wants to meet with you guys, so we’re like, okay perfect! guess we passed right. So Little Wayne comes, we follow him in his car, I guess it was his house he says, “I’m taking you to my place so I can show you some more things and as we drive out of the city and then we come up to this huge apartment complex that is in a circle form where there’s only a single entrance going in, it’s kind of an archway entrance, you can drive your car into this center courtyard area and all of the apartments are facing in and there’s a gate there. So the guard gate opens this gate, boom. We drive into the central courtyard area and my security guy is crapping himself. He’s like guys, he said, “This is a kill zone. We are literally. Every single one of these apartments are probably owned by [ _ ] dealers and [ _ ] and we’re just right here in the middle. If anything goes here our only exit is through that guard gate and everything is all facing in, so this is a dangerous place to be and he said, “We have to be on our best acting skills here because if we screw up here we don’t make it out alive for sure.” And so we follow this [ _ ] in. This Little Wayne went into where his apartment was and he came in and talked to us inside of his apartment. There’s no kids there but it’s a pretty nice place and he said, “okay now I’ll show you what you’re looking for.” And he goes outside and goes to the next apartment next to his. This apartment had boarded up windows. It had a key lock in it and it looked like it was an abandoned apartment, like there was nobody inside and he was out there on the corner, the only wall that was adjoining it was his. He goes, and he unlocks his door and we come in, there are six children being held in this room. Six children and I told him, “Can I take some pictures so my boss can verify you have what he wants?” He goes, “yeah!” I’ll pay you money for each one of them so I can prove to you that we’re really real and our boss is super interested in this party that we have, that we’re setting up. And so took a couple pictures with these kids, did the age test with them, every one of them was under 15, there was a 12 year old, there was 11y old, there was a 13-year-old, a couple 14 year olds that were there being held by Little Wayne and they had no way to get out of this room. he had the only key, you had to have a key to be able to get out from the inside as well. So of course we memorized the location. When we got back in our car, we had already geotagged the location. When we pulled in and we had sent a message to the federal agent saying listen, “we’re going in, this is where we are, if we don’t text you back then this is our last location. So we sent that to the federal agent, as we go in there and identify the fact that Little Wayne had these six kids and then he told us, “listen, I have at least 20 more that I have access to in my network, you just tell me what you need and I have all of it, I have all of it for you.” Fortunately we were able to get out of this kill zone area. We passed the test with Little Wayne. He was happy with the cash that we gave him and we told him, yes we’re very interested in anybody that you have access to in your network but that was the end of the first trip. In every single operation we’ll go into a city and do multiple operations, multiple undercover missions to be able to pull off one single sting. Why? because we want to make sure that we get all of them. If all we did is just take down the the Excon then Little Wayne would have filled in and immediately he would fill the void and [ _ ] would continue, so we have to make sure that we’re identifying every single major operator in a city so that we can take them all down at the same time so that we can make a significant impact and then the federal agents have the ability to kind of control it at that point. There’s not just so much going on that it’s way over their head so we go back in, yeah a couple weeks later, I’m staying in contact with all of these [ _ ] on my burner (undercover phone). And we fly back in again meet with the federal agent and at this point he said, “Hey guys, I talked to the prosecutor and they need us to send a federal agent with you on everything that you’re doing, undercover agent he’ll be a Dominican and we know from past experience this never works unfortunately the [ _ ] they’re looking for Americans and they’re not looking for Americans that have a Dominican that’s tagging along with them. Sometimes they blow our cover, sometimes they just don’t do very well undercover themselves, sometimes the [ _ ] even know who they are and that’s exactly what happened over the next couple hours. So we meet these guys, they’re kind of motorcycle taxi guys, there’s a whole big old bunch of motorcycles that were there and here’s what happened, our travel agent set up a hotel for us that was different from the original one. We went in and we just told her, “hey this is the area that we need to be in.” And unfortunately we didn’t realize this until we got there, the hotel that she booked for us was literally right in the middle of the super high [ _ ] area and there’s no entrance out the back of the hotel, meaning every time we went into our safe house, our place, when we need to be away from the [ _ ], we need to make sure they don’t know where we are. So at night, we don’t get shot, we don’t have somebody come in and rob us, so we don’t end up having guys beat us up in the middle of the night. Well unfortunately this is right there in the middle of the crap zone and so we put our bags there and we’re like, crap, I don’t know if we can safely come and go from this hotel. We leave, we go straight across the street and there’s this high [ _ ] area, there’s [ _ ], there [ _ ] dealers there and a bunch of motorcycle taxis that are all sitting there and this is where we meet Jimmy and Johnny everything, who can give you everything. He prides himself in finding what Americans are looking for, whatever kind of dirt they’re looking for and providing anything and everything that somebody’s deep of soul desires when they come to the Dominican Republic and we start talking to him. And a police officer, A tourist cop as they call him, walked out of this convenience store and was standing literally two feet away from us and I’m like, “we need to go over here and talk.” And Johnny is like, “oh no no we good, puts his hand around the shoulder of this taurus cop and with his arm around him continues to have this conversation about children that are for sale. This is my first indication that maybe there was a problem with some of the law enforcement in the area. If they are not being very aware of the child [ _ ] problem. Now this has changed significantly since then but unfortunately that’s the common thread over some of this mission. So he has his arm around this cop and we’ve got our other undercover federal agent that’s there with us, that’s kind of listening in as well and I’m thinking, y’all I’m surprised that these [ _ ] are talking about these children for sale with this cop right here with this other undercover agent but this Dominican dude that’s hanging there with us. Well unfortunately, a couple hours later, we end up meeting with Leo, I get a text from Leo, the guy that we met at the beach earlier and he’s like, “hey I’ve got some guys I want to introduce you too.” I said, “yeah that’s great, we’ll meet with him, when is good?” He said, “Maybe tomorrow, I have a guy that owns a dance club and he has a whole bunch of children that are for sale.” And we said, “fantastic! I would love to meet with him.” and then we reconnect with Eli. Now Eli is important, he’s the guy who introduced Little Wayne to some other children he has access to, a bunch of [ _ ] and he pulled me aside and he said, “hey, we have a problem.” I said, “Really, what’s the problem?” He said, “that guy that’s with you, that ‘s Dominican, he’s a cop, I’ve got connections everywhere and I’m telling you right now, he’s a cop.” Now I don’t know if his connections were other police or law enforcement personnel that were there that were working with the [ _ ] but it was that close to blowing our cover and I said, “holy crap are you serious? he just told us that he could help us out here so that he could identify some.” He says, “lose him, you have to lose this guy because he’s likely going to arrest you if he finds out that you’re looking for the children, he’s just gathering information on this.” And we’re like, “oh crap.” So fortunately Eli was warning me trying to keep me safe, I had already been vetted by Eli when I was getting shaved and whatnot and so he trusted us and he said, “you’ve got to get rid of him or you’re going to end up going to jail.” I’m like oh crap, okay thank you, thank you and I gave him a couple hundred dollar as a tip for informing me that that was going to be a problem and I said, listen I’ll take care of this, thank you for letting me know and so he said, “yeah don’t tell him, don’t tell him about me and what we’re doing don’t tell him about Little Wayne at all but yeah you need to make sure you get rid of him. So there was a string somewhere of dirty cops whether it was our undercover agent that just wasn’t very good at being undercover or most likely there was corruption going on in the police force and there were some of them that were working with Little Wayne and working with Eli and so we said, okay that’s good to know, thank you, thank you for telling. That night we sat down with our federal agent and we said, “Listen you know this is a big deal we were introduced to some big [ _ ] and I don’t know where the leak is coming from but they know you, they know that you’re a cop.” He goes, oh okay and he was told by his superior he had to be out with us. The next morning, we got a text from him and he said, “hey guys I’m feeling really sick today so I can’t go.” Well this was him knowing that his presence was going to affect the mission there and so he probably just told his superior sorry I can’t go out with these guys but he wanted to preserve the mission. So fortunately we were able to go out and reconnect with Eli. Said, yeah we got rid of him fantastic! So he introduced us to some more children that were being sold by Little Wayne and showed us some pictures of some additional ones and indeed they had access to over 2530 children in their network and so this was going to be one of the biggest child rescue missions that we had done since Colombia. One where we rescued 120 plus victims in one day. At this point, I start reaching out to some of the other [ _ ], one of them was the excon and he said, “okay I want to meet you, do I get an extra bonus if I get you something that is super unique?” And I said, “well what do you mean? He goes, “Let’s meet.” And so we met again and he said, “Listen I have a mother who is selling her two children, Selling like she doesn’t want them back.” He said I told her that you have some connections in the US, places that you could sell them there. So he makes a call on his phone to this lady and talks to her in Spanish and then she speaks enough English to talk to me, so I get on the phone with this mother of these children and she said, “yes, I have a 9-year-old and 11-year-old, two daughters, I’m interested in selling them for $10,000 each, Here’s what’s important, you’re taking them to the US?” I said, “yeah yeah I’ve got some contacts there in the US.” She said, “good, you need to make me this promise, when you’re done with them, I need you to be done with them, do you understand? I never want this to come back on me, never, so if you’re done with them at the club,  whether it’s a year from now, 5 Years from, 10 years, 20 years from now, whenever you’re done with my children they need to be done.” That was one of the hardest things that I ever heard in all my missions. A mother selling her child. Now I’m a big advocate of compassion, non-judgment because I don’t know most of these these guys selling kids, they were raped as children, they had such horrible childhoods, this one was hard for me to feel any compassion whatsoever. For this mother actively selling her children and asking me to be done with them when we were done with them. A few days later when this excon brought these two girls that were being sold by their mother, they evidently had overheard the conversation, they knew that they were being sold and evidently their home life was so tragic, was so difficult, was so dark for them that they were really excited to be bought by us knowing that they were going to be sold for sex in the US. They would hold on to it and they were just children but they wanted to get out of that horrific situation with their mother and the excon said, “hey you guys can go try them in the apartment right here test them out.” We’re like, “no no our boss is very direct with us in making sure that we don’t taste the candy but here’s some money to verify that you had it.” The sad thing with this one is that, he brought them and took them back on his motorcycle, there was no way for us to identify the exact location that these kids were living and I didn’t have the phone number to their mother that was all a phone call, that happened on this exon’s phone instead. Unfortunately we weren’t in a position to be able to reach back out to these kids if something went bad. This marked the end of that weekend. We spent almost every weekend in the DR and then flew back to the US in setting up this sting over a period of about two and a half to three months. And so the next weekend, we flew back in and I had been staying in contact with the [ _ ] and I had this entire spreadsheet put together, I mean we’re talking this [ _ ] lined us up with this one, this guy selling [ _ ] lined us up with this guy had 14 children, this one has 12 this is has 10 and you know the little girl that was brought to the bar, the very first day that was kicked out, the little 13, 14 year old she was actually brought back and the ones that the excon was controlling as well. so it was interesting, the crossover that a couple of the children that were being sold by Little Wayne were also being sold by this excon. In the end that serves pretty interesting because these guys definitely were not working together, they were getting their kids from some central places that we had to figure out where exactly all these other kids were being held. So the next weekend we went back in for another op because we needed to reconnect with everybody and find out everybody in the area that’s selling kids and  I connected with Leo, the guy that we met on the beach. He said he had a contact with a friend of his who owned a club. So he takes us to the club and at this point the foundation that I was working with wanted to have some extra video footage because I had told them all of the stuff that was going on. All of these [ _ ] that we had met on these previous missions and they wanted to capture some video footage of it so they could show it when we actually did the sting. So they sent a guy. Heavy set guy, we called him T and he had a camera, it was a video camera that we made so you couldn’t tell when the light was on the camera when it was running and he had a lens cap that was broken. So it looked like he was just carrying a camera with a broken lens cap because it wouldn’t attach, in reality it was capturing high resolution video of everything that was going on in these operations and my regular security guy couldn’t come either. So we got a guy by the name of Matt. Matt is a multi- black belt Krav Maga and many other things as well. Matt is built, looks like a military guy, clean cut and strong and big and fast, I mean I feel very very very safe with Matt around. Unfortunately what happened was we got taken to the club and we’re sitting there while Leo was talking to the club owner back and forth and they seemed nervous about something. Fortunately one of our guys spoke really good Spanish but on purpose, we told him listen don’t say anything to any anybody about the fact that you speak good Spanish that way you could kind of learn if there’s some information that we need to know about because most of the [ _ ] speak English because they’re selling children to Americans that are there. He then comes back out and says okay, “yeah we’ll take you guys to a place but we need to talk when we get there.” We said, “Okay that’s fine.” So we drove out. I told him, “look we’re kind of hungry we’re going to stop by and grab some hamburgers and stuff on the way.” We drove through a drive-thru, grabbed some burgers and drinks and then my operator said to me he said, “hey we have a bit of a problem, those two [ _ ] are super nervous and they’re probably not going to show us the kids.” I said, “Why? Why is that?” He said, “Well they’re seeing our new security guy Matt and they think that he’s military and thinking that maybe you guys are setting up like a sting or something like that on them or they see this new camera man and they’re wondering are you making a documentary or something, they just don’t want to show you the kids.” Energetically, I have to appear super relaxed. So we get there, they pull in this place way outside the city and there’s a bunch of houses that look like they’re half constructed, they’ve got boards up on the windows and they look like they’re completely boarded up a couple of these homes that are there. We get out and the guys are like yeah that the [ _ ] are like yeah somebody’s supposed to meet us here but I don’t know if they’re coming, they were backstepping and I’m like okay, we’re going to lose it, we’re going to lose the opportunity to find out where these kids are being held. And so taking my burger and my drink and I pull one of the guys aside Leo. I said Leo come here come here come here come here. Can I talk to you? Talk to you separate from everybody. Goes, yeah yeah that’s good. Take a bite of my burger as we’re walking I say, “hey I have to tell you something, just so you know that big guy Matt, he’s all cut just so you know, he works security for my boss. He’s here to make sure that I don’t cross the line. He’s really not here to protect me. He’s here to make sure that if I taste the candy before the party whatever that I’m done, so just so you know beforehand that’s who he is and he’s just here to make sure that I don’t  [ _ ] up as I’m setting stuff up because my boss, he’s a big dude and he’s super important and he’s got a whole bunch of security, so you know there and that that heavy guy with the camera on his chest right there, totally up to you but at the time of the party, if you’re okay with it, he makes child porn videos and stuff so if you’re okay with it then he’ll film at the party. If you’re not totally good but just so you know who he is. I take the bite of my burger and he’s like, “oh, good okay yeah I feel better right now because I was kind of wondering.” I say, yeah yeah it’s all good, just want to make sure you know why those guys were with us just in case.” He’s like, “okay cool.” So he goes back over to the guy who owns the club, who was showing us where he’s keeping the kids, has a private conversation with him and they said okay, and so they go. They said wait here and we’re waiting out in the middle of this it’s kind of an unfinished road with unfinished subdivision with the houses that are boarded up all around us and they go over and they go in through a back door and probably all locked up or whatever else and then they come back out with four children that were being held in one of these houses with the boarded up windows and the boarded up doors and only an access on the backside. So he comes out with these four children and they are young. They’re 11, 12, 13 years old with these kids and we said, “yeah yeah that’s exactly what we’re looking for at this party.” I said, “can I get the information of the club owner guy just back and forth.” And he says, “yeah!” So we get the information for him. So now I have contact information for the club owner so that the federal police, if he doesn’t come to the party they know exactly who he is and where he is and we geotag that location so we know exactly where those kids are being held and that was a win. A big win because if something goes bad with the sting operation then we know where he’s holding those kids. We know where Little Wayne is holding his kids. We didn’t know where the excon was holding his kids but we’re getting closer to almost 20 plus children that we know are being held in different houses, different apartments with boarded up windows and no access to the outside world. The next day, we come back in,  we’re in a safe hotel at this place, at this time we’re not having to worry about coming in and out with the [ _ ] and the motorcycle cops and everybody else that are just sitting there watching us. So we have a safer location that we’re staying in at this point but the prosecutor re-engages and said, “hey you know I really need to have a federal agent out with you.” We’re like, crap! okay that’s fine but I guarantee we’re going to blow our cover, we’re going to blow our cover with Little Wayne, we’re gonna blow our cover with Eli because they already know. They already know that he was a federal agent who was an undercover cop in some way.” And so we’re like, “crap! how are we going to do this and so we thought okay, how do we keep him busy but not be here and blow our cover with all of these other [ _ ] that we’ve been setting up this thing with and so we said, “hey is there any other cities around here that we can go to that we can maybe find out if there’s other [ _ ] going on?” And this federal agent’s like, “yeah yeah there’s this other city it’s about two and a half hours away but there’s a lot of [ _ ] going on there.” And we said, “okay, that’s fantastic!”. So one of my operators Andy. Understand this, Andy has not only trained in Krav maga and hand-to hand combat and escape and evasion and he’s had extensive training on race cars like off-road, on road, everything. I mean this guy is badass when he’s behind the wheel. Holy crap. Now Andy’s driving and we’ve got a federal agent that’s there and he’s like, “So with you here with us, are we really required to take two and a half hours to get there?” And he said, “no no you do whatever you want on my freeways.” So of course, 45 minutes later we arrive at this new city and we drive around first and man there’s a lot of crap going on here, a lot and it is obvious that there is I mean there’s people selling drugs right out in the open. There were prostitutes everywhere and you could see a number of them looked very much underage as we’re driving around so we said okay, yeah this is a cesspool of dirt and filth and nefarious activity that’s going on here. So we went and parked our car and started walking and at this point we’ve got myself, we’ve got Andy, we’ve got Jimmy and we have our federal agent that’s there with us. Fortunately, he must have done a lot of his work in some of the other cities because the [ _ ] and the [ _ ] dealers there didn’t recognize our federal agents. So we’re super happy about that, even the local cops didn’t recognize that he was a federal agent cuz we were walking through a super seedy dangerous area of town and the local cops drove up in a big SUV they’re like, “hey what are you guys doing? This is a bad area, you shouldn’t be here.” And we’re like, “yeah we’re just walking back to our apartment hotel.” And they’re like, “okay yeah we’ll be keeping eyes on you.” And then this couple of motorcycle cop guys come by and they’re shaking us up as well, “Hey what are you guys doing here” and whatever we says, yeah we’re just walking and as we’re walking guys would come out asking us if wanted [ _ ], we wanted girls and multiple times were presented with children. Now of course this wasn’t our main Op city. Technically we were keeping the federal agent busy that day because that was the only day that he was required to go with us and we didn’t want to be in the main city that had all the other kids because we didn’t want to run the risk of losing the entire operation. By this time we had been back in about eight different days in four different missions and flying into the country just to set up this one sting. We had lots of kids, lots of [ _ ] and we did not want to risk losing the entire operation. So we’re there a couple hours away in this other city and there’s kids everywhere. The [ _ ] girl brings out this little girl and says, “Hey, she’s available now.”  We say, “yeah that’s interesting but maybe another time.” Exchange information with that [ _ ] Etc because if we can at least exchange their information then we can turn that information into the federal agents they can do some follow ups, they can shut down the [ _ ] in that area. After about two hours of walking, we’re slowly going downhill downhill downhill and we’re down by this beach area that has a little outdoor trailer restaurant type, that has some smoothies for sale and whatever else. So we’re buying some of those that are there and these two cops drive up on a motorcycle, both of them on a single bike and they’re asking us, they say, “Hey you guys are a long way away from your car.” We’re like, “yeah yeah it’s up there, it took us two hours to walk down here.” And walking up a hill it’s probably going to take us three hours is what we were thinking because it was a steep hill in part and they said, “how about this, we’ll take one of you.” We thought, okay well of course two of us couldn’t go because they got one motorcycle and I already got two cops on it. So we’re thinking, “okay yeah yeah that would actually be super helpful.” Without having to walk all the way up there. So Andy gets on the motorcycle with these two cops. This is the first time in the operations that we have broken rule number one. Rule number one you’re never alone. When we’re undercover, we’re always with one of our other operators. Why? To keep us safe. Number one and number two, to make sure that we’re never in a situation with a minor, with a [ _ ] with a [ _ ] or whatever else where somebody can say, “oh you did this there.” No, we had verification everywhere that we were operating with complete integrity at all times on these missions and so we always had other operators there that had eyes on what we were doing so that later if somebody was like,”Hey I feel uncomfortable with how you handled that.” Then we can say, “okay let’s handle it differently.” Whatever it is but bottom line is rule number one is you’re never alone. Never. It’s this 2x two system that I learned a long time ago that works really well. We couldn’t send two guys so Andy gets on the motorcycle himself and they drive away, 10 minutes passes 15, 20, 25, 30, 45 minutes passes, this should have been plenty of time for Andy to be taken to the car for him to get that car back down to us and we’re like, “crap! what’s going on?” Finally, Andy drives up motorcycle cops behind him, white-faced.I’ve been with Andy in some really dangerous places, this was the most shook up that I’ve seen him. In fact this operation as a whole was one that I know shook Andy to the core. To the core because number one, he was there when the excon brought those two children that the mother was flat out selling and their demeanor, they so badly wanted to go with us and we could imagine how horrible their life was at home with a mother that was not only flat out selling them but saying, that when you’re done with them, you need to be done with them. So Andy was there for that. That shook him up. He says so many times now, what I wish more than anything, if I could go back there, I’d pay 10,000 for each of them, just so I could take them home and put them in a healthy home and give them the support that they needed with his daughter and his family. Etc. he says I wish I could go back, it just tears him up that we didn’t have access to that Mom and a place to be able to find those kids. 

Fast forward, we’re there waiting for him. He finally shows up. He is white as a ghost and he’s like, we need to handle a situation and so we’re like, “really?What happened?” He said, these guys shook me down. He said, we got out of you guys’ site and they pulled over and immediately these two cops and he’s by himself. These two cops are saying listen we need you to get us money right now. We need your cell phone, we need $2,000 so we can buy the other one an iPhone. I mean it was a flatout shakedown and Andy speaks about as much Spanish as I do, which is enough to get arrested and he’s thinking, holy crap! These are dirty cops shaking him down for money not wanting to take him to his car. Finally after some back and forth conversation that went on for quite a while, he convinced them, he said, “listen just take me to my car, these guys have all the money that you want, my friend Pablo down there, he’s got plenty of cash,  we can get you there, I don’t have it on me right now.” And he was worried for his life, he was worried how far they would go on but finally they took him back up to the car and they followed him back down so that they could get some of the money from us and everything else. 

Well fortunately we had with us our federal agent and Andy told the story of what was going on. The federal agent says, “I’ll take care of this, you guys get back in the car.” And so we got in the car and he went and talked to them and of course they skedaddled really fast and they were shaking us down for money and he was a federal agent. Unfortunately that marked the end of our undercover in that city because he blew his cover with guys who were obviously dirty cops.

And so we ended up going back to the main city. Flew out because the next trip would be the setup for the sing to rescue all of these kids that we had collected the information for and connected with all these [ _ ] over the last couple months and going in. 

Paul Hutchinson [00:47:21]

So we flew back in. This was the week of the sting and Andy was in Israel at the time and he said, ”listen, you just tell me the day that the thing’s going down, I’ll be on a plane that day and I’ll be there for the takedown. We had a pretty big team that showed up with us at this point. We have a former CIA agent that was working with the foundation that was helping to sponsor this in the beginning. We had a couple special forces guys, some Green Berets Navy Seals that were there with us as well, a pretty big organization. So we rented a house. It was a beautiful place where we were going to have a quiet party. We’re going to have all the [ _ ] bring all of their children to this party and this house was known as a place that hosted [ _ ] parties. I mean, I felt uncomfortable even sleeping on a bed in this place because our guys that had done some research said yeah these guys that own this house have these big [ _ ] parties all the time here it’s the perfect location to be able to tell the [ _ ] that’s where we’re going to have this. So it’s this beautiful opulent home, it’s got a swimming pool in the back, super pretty and I recontact each one of the [ _ ]. I recontact the excon and say, “listen, we’re here, my boss is coming to town. I need you to make sure that you bring all of the children that you showed us including the two that the mom wants to flat out sell, you need to bring all of those to the party, again to be happening in a couple days of saturday.” He is okay so I get a hold of Elias to make sure he’s bringing all of his, get a hold of Little Wayne. I’m texting him back and forth and said, “hey, we got all this set up, we’re good to go and he goes, “you don’t have to bring anybody else just so you know, I got you totally covered. I can bring in 40 children if that’s what you want.” And I was almost tempted, you know little Wayne was by far the worst of any of them but at the same time we needed to get this excon off the streets. He needed to be done and the guy who owned the strip club needed to bring those kids that he took us to in this remote neighborhood with the boarded up windows everywhere. We had to get all of the kids that were being shown to us to come to this party. So I called each one of them one by one, then these traffickers were expecting about $500 per child that they were bringing and Little Wayne said, look I’ll bring 40 kids. All of them were under 13 years old if and because he was super connected throughout this entire [ _ ] network and we said, “You know what, bring us everybody that we verified already. I said, absolutely you bring as many as you can. Anybody that you can, bring them to the party, that’s what we want.” Leo introduced us to another female [ _ ], her name was Caroline and we had not met with Caroline before, I had been texting back and forth over the last few operations while we were there and she said that she had nine children and I wanted her to bring the kids to the op but I needed to verify that they weren’t really were children they weren’t really [ _ ] they weren’t somebody that she was just pulling from the neighbors whatever else and so we arranged to meet her at a restaurant and we pull into this restaurant, we park our car around the back, we go in with a with a few of our operators. Carol shows up with five children. These kids are 12, 13 and 14 years old and she sets all the kids at this separate table from ours and we’re sitting there negotiating with her. We told her, yeah that’s what our boss is looking for. I said, “Can we guarantee that you’re going to be there for this party on Saturday.” She said, “Absolutely!” I said, “I’ll pay you a little bit right now but the majority of it you’re going to get when you bring the kids to this activity that we’re having with our boss flying into town on  Saturday.” She goes, “Fantastic! Yep I’m good with that.” Then I get a text. I’m sitting there at this table, this restaurant, this girl and all of these children that she had brought and I get a text from Little Wayne and it’s a picture of the street out in front of the restaurant that we were at and it has a couple cop cars that are out there, that we’re driving and he sends me a text he said, “Get out cops are here, cops are here get out!” I’m like, “Crap! okay.” And right then our security comes in from the front door and they’re like, “We got to go! we gotta go! There’s a cop that are circling out in front, we’ve gotta get out of here because these are local cops and as we’ve known many many times before we can’t let the local cops in on the the sting because half the time they’re dirty, half the time they’re connected with [ _ ]. We don’t know and they’re just not getting paid well enough to be honorable in a lot of these countries. And so we’re like, okay we gotta get out, so we throw a couple hundreds down. I tell Carol Hey listen, make sure you bring all of these kids and we’ve got to go. So we throw $100 out and pay for everything. Pay for her and we leave the back, we get in the car boom. Make sure we’re not being followed. I then get a text from Little Wayne saying, “Hey, just you know those cops all went in with that lady right now.” And I’m like crap, okay so I don’t know what that means in the end but something’s going to happen and then Little Wayne says, “Can you meet me somewhere.” We’re like, “okay yeah. we’ll meet you.” and we made sure we weren’t made to follow. There were no cops that were following us whatsoever and we were supposed to meet Little Wayne in this remote alley area. We go into this remote neighborhood and we pull down this alley and Little Wayne is standing there and as soon as we pull in, a cop car pulls in and blocks our way from going back and boom. As soon as that happens another cop pulls in front of us, we’ve got cops in front and in back and there was no way. We were being followed there. They were told somehow that that’s where we were going to be and Little Wayne walks up to the door and he said, “Hey, looks like you have a problem here, I think I can get this taken care of for you,  just give me some money, I’m going to need probably $500 to get this taken care of because these cops think that you’re involved with whatever went down there. That restaurant.” I’m like crap, okay so we give him some money, he walks up to both of the doors of these cop cars and boom, they take off. At this point we realized what had happened. Little Wayne was mad, he came back up to the door and he said, “Listen, that lady that you are with, she’s going to jail, don’t worry though I know the cops that are there, they’re all good friends of mine but don’t worry, I’ll take care of your party, all myself you don’t have to worry about her, I’ll bring all the kids myself and we’ll have a great time.” We realized at this point that the entire local police force was involved with Little Wayne and his network. This is the reason why Elias who was working with Little Wayne, this is the reason why he knew the very first day that we had a federal agent with us, why he knew that that was a federal agent. He was being tipped off by the local cops who were some of them already had worked with some of the federal agents that were there and we realized that it was him that called in the local cops on the other lady that was there. He was eliminating his competition and he needed to have the whole party for himself and we’re like, crap! Now we have little bit of a problem because if all the local cops are on the take and are working with this Little Wayne, we don’t have control of what’s going on here in fact the local cops know our license plate of our car, they can likely track where the airbnb was all of this stuff. It was getting super dicey and you cannot have the full sting operation happen the way that we wanted it to if we have all the local cops knowing who we are, knowing where it’s going to be, knowing one being involved in [ _ ] to the degree that these guys were and so we’re debating back and forth. We go back to the main house and we’re talking with the rest of the team trying to figure out how to handle all of this and then I get a text from the excon he said, “Cops are at my house they’ve surrounded my house.” We’re like crap! So little Wayne again. He was taken out for the rest of his competition. He was watching everywhere that we were going, he knew that we were working with the excon, he knew that we were working with the guys at the club, he knew that we were working with this lady who brought all of those other kids and he wanted to control the entire thing on his own and was feeling like this was an opportunity that he could use his connections within the local police and take out all of his competition and that’s what was happening right in front of our eyes. At this point the operation was on the edge, we talked to the former CIA agent that was there with us and he said, “This is just way too hot. There’s way too many moving parts here, way too many guys who are tied in with the police that are part of the [ _ ]. we cannot risk the [ _ ] knowing that this is a sting operation, this would be a kill zone in and of itself, if these guys show up with guns, if they show up with all of their other people.” Unfortunately Little Wayne was way too networked into the police force in order for us to take this down and our other [ _ ] had already been arrested by the local police. This was a postponement or scrap of this entire operation which was sad because I had been in 11 different nights in five different weekends that we had come down and connected with all these [ _ ]. Fortunately we knew the location that Little Wayne was keeping a handful of his kids, we knew the house that he lived in, we knew the club that he was selling some kids out of, we knew the remote neighborhood that had been boarded up that Leo and his dance club owner were keeping a bunch of their kids, we knew where those kids were being held and we knew the dance club that the excon was keeping a few of the children. We had records on all of that and it had turned it all into the federal police at this point so that was a win but the thing that was super sad is that if we didn’t have the excon bring those children that were being sold by their mother, we were going to lose those two kids for sure and we were likely going to lose some of the other kids that were shown to us by some of the other [ _ ] but we didn’t have locations as to where those kids were being held. And so we had to go to the airport and fly out. There was way too much heat, way too many of the local cops knew what was going on. They had already shook us down for a whole bunch of money a couple different times. They were already stinging all of the houses and the locations where these other [ _ ] were living but they weren’t rescuing the kids. Fortunately that day, the five children that were brought by Caroline in the restaurant, we had after care already set up and in place so it was a success in the fact that those five kids were rescued that day. They were taken to the police department with the local police as they were booking this female [ _ ] into jail and we sent in the aftercare team and they were able to help identify the parents and put these kids into safe houses at this point, in addition to that we had all the other information. So we flew back to the US, trying to figure out what’s going on and where things are going from there. I get a text on my undercover phone from the right-hand man of the excon and he said, “Listen, I need some bail money to get this guy out of jail.” I’m like what the [ _ ], I’m not bailing a [ _ ] out of jail are you kidding me, I can’t tell him. I said, “really? What are they saying?” He said,”he’s probably going to get out, he’s going to get out in a couple weeks anyway, he has this attorney that needs some extra cash to be able to make some things happen but we need to figure out how to fight his case.” So I’m like crap! So I’m staying in touch with these guys. I get a text from him the next day and he says, “Don’t worry about it, he had plenty of money in another place that he told me about, I got him out, he’s bailed out.” So I’m like crap! literally in 48 hours the excon has been bailed out of jail by the local cops because they really didn’t care. They’re looking for bribes, looking for money from him and whatever else so he’s out. Three days later, I get a text from his right-hand man with a picture of this excon in the hospital with tubes all coming in through his mouth and everything else and a bunch of stuff coming out of his chest. He had gotten shot in the chest by somebody that was working with one of the other [ _ ] and at first I thought this must be Little Wayne again eliminating his competition. I found out later it was actually Carol, it was the other female [ _ ] that was in prison with him that they were going back and forth thinking that one of them was ratting on the other one. They had no idea that it was actually Little Wayne and the local police that had this whole push against both of them. So they were in it against each other. She’s like, yeah you must have told the cops that I was there with these guys whatever and so she hired a hitman to come and take out the excon. This has happened many times on these operations, where our [ _ ] end up getting shot and many times killed by other [ _ ]. This is not a safe neighborhood to go into. You’re thinking, oh I want to go undercover, no we’ve had operators. Operators who have been killed, we have operators who one of them in the Dominican Republic got stabbed over 20 times, I think it was 27 times he got stabbed and he was a former special forces guy and the [ _ ] had found out that he was working with the cops or whatever but he got broken into his apartment, they found out where he was and he almost died. Fortunately was able to fend off what he could and got him out of there and of course went to the hospital but this is dangerous but this is a good thing when the [ _ ] get shot by another [ _ ]. So fortunately for us the excon didn’t make it. Unfortunately I didn’t have the phone number of the mother who was selling her children. Those two kids are still in a horrific home being [ _ ] by their mom. We have no idea. I know that he traveled on his bike a few hours away, so there’s a massive air that they could have been in and unfortunately we didn’t get the information about where they’re being held. We did send all of the information to the federal agents who not only went in and made sure that the female was rearrested when she was led out of the local jail. So she was rearrested into a federal prison. They went in with teams and identified the children that were in the neighborhood with the boarded up windows and everything. We sent them all of that information. They did individual stings and we actually found out that this worked out a lot better. You know the only thing that was lost on this operation besides those two kids that we couldn’t get their address and couldn’t get in touch with their mother besides them, the only other thing that was lost is there wasn’t a big camera thing with the former homeland security agent and all of his camera team in there and showing the actual rescue itself of the kids. We realized at this point that this was a better model, it was a better model for us to simply identify where the kids were being held, leave the country, have the federal agents come in with all of their guns and everything and arrest these [ _ ], take the kids and then we set up the safe houses and help pay for the rehabilitation of the kids. This was a way better model, when we didn’t have to have all of the cameras there. Unfortunately you don’t get to see all of that. There is a bunch of footage from the heavy set cameraman that was with us on some of this operation, there was a bunch of footage that I think they’re thinking of putting it into some documentaries and whatever else. It’s not the big grandiose rescue but now you know all of the details of how we found these [ _ ]. The backstory behind all of them and eventually when that documentary comes out you’re like, oh I remember that whole story, it’s exactly what I thought when I imagined it all happening there. So the happy ending to the story, the five children that the Madam brought boom, they were immediately in after care, they were immediately with the aftercare team and identifying their parents Etc. Every one of the other locations, we geotag the location. We made such close connections with the [ _ ] that many of them we knew where the [ _ ] actually lived themselves as well and turned all of that information over to the federal police. They went in and did individual stings and the foundation we were working with helped with all of the after care of the kids that were rescued from that mission. If you want to go to the Dominican Republic and stay out of some of these C areas, don’t go there for [ _ ] tourism. Why? because the laws have changed, they have cleaned up their act in many many cases with the local cops, with the federal cops and if you’re going for these kinds of activities, you’re going to get arrested, you’re going to be put in jail for a really long time. Fortunately, they’ve cleaned up their streets. I even have some close friends that just bought a beautiful condo in the same city that I was telling you that all of this stuff was going on and it’s so much better, it’s so much cleaner over the last 10 years since a lot of these operations happen. Fortunately, with The Sound of Freedom movie that came out a lot of the locals that were there, the good people that were in Colombia rose up and said this is what we want, we want our streets to be cleaned, our children to be safe and never having this ease of being able to find children like we did on this operation many years ago. This has been the Liberating Humanity podcast. I’m Paul Hutchinson. Thank you for joining. If you enjoyed this and enjoy many others please pass this on. Hit the like button below. I’m going to continue to tell stories about the rescue missions and we’re going to move into a bunch of stories of the healing, the healing of the children, the healing of you and I as adults who have gone through some challenges in our own childhood etc. So a lot of beautiful things ahead when it comes to healing but I’ll do a whole bunch more on the rescue missions as well. So thank you for joining the Liberating Humanity podcast.

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