Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agents, investigators, and analysts work in more than 270 U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 170 countries, frequently putting DSS at the epicenter of transnational criminal investigations, including those involving human smuggling and trafficking. These crimes often involve some aspect of passport or visa fraud—the primary investigative authority of DSS.
DSS field offices throughout the United States partner with U.S. federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies on multi-agency anti-trafficking task forces to investigate these crimes.
Foreign law enforcement agencies also partner with DSS to combat human trafficking. Some of the trafficking cases that DSS has supported include:
- A Texas couple who enslaved their nanny. The couple was convicted and was ordered to pay the Nigerian woman more than $100,000 in restitution.
- “Operation Cinderella Story”. This operation dismantled an international human trafficking and money laundering ring operating in South Korea and New York City.
- A joint-agency international sex trafficking case involving an individual victimizing and exploiting women in the Middle East, Australia, and the United States.
- The prosecution of three people who recruited, defrauded, and exploited 76 temporary workers at a farm in Minnesota. Read more in Countering Labor Trafficking: Two Case Studies.
DSS also assists human trafficking victims through its Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program, which provides tailored support such as counseling and assistance on obtaining safe housing and medical care.
Learn more about our involvement in dismantling a child exploitation ring in our podcast After Action, True Stories of the Diplomatic Security Service. In our first episode, Special Agent Kala discusses how she investigated a photographer in Costa Rica who used his legitimate business to sexually exploit children as young as eight years old. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and YouTube.