Deputy saves a child being trafficked in Navajo County
HOLBROOK, Ariz. —A Navajo County Deputy identified and removed a boy who was being trafficked Sept. 8.
The deputy, assigned to the Criminal Interdiction Unit, conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 40 at milepost 258 in the Winslow area where he made contact with Julio Ramirez-Felipe, 35, of Greenfield, Calif. Ramirez-Felipe was traveling with a juvenile boy who was not related or known to him.
After an investigation was conducted, Ramirez-Felipe was arrested and booked into Navajo County Jail for Assisting in Human Smuggling Organization.
“I would like to commend my deputy for his exemplary investigative work on this traffic stop," Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse said. "Because of this simple traffic stop and furtherance of this investigation, an innocent child was rescued from danger. Human trafficking is a real issue that affects too many children. Thank you to the men and women who combat these issues every day.”
Deputies at the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, specifically the deputies assigned to the Criminal Interdiction Unit, have received substantial training on recognizing and detecting signs of human trafficking. During the traffic stop, the deputy utilized their training and was able to determine that the child was in danger and was being trafficked.
The deputy secured the juvenile while Ramirez-Felipe was transported to NCSO Jail. Ramirez-Felipe is currently being held on an immigration detainer. The Criminal Interdiction Unit deputy is working with partnering investigative agencies to further investigate this incident.
There is no specific age, race, or gender that is targeted for human trafficking. Every year, millions of men, women and children are trafficked worldwide, including in Arizona.