NBC7’s STOLEN Documentary Goes National on NBCLX

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Executive Director of the BSCC Marisa Ugarte appears in STOLEN in a role she is very familiar with.   Ms Ugarte works closley with the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force when there are victims involved in an active case.  In this NBC7 production you can see her up close helping in the ongoing fight against human trafficking.

Dear Friends,

January, as you may know, is Human Trafficking Awareness month. I am pleased to report the good news that the NBC7 Stolen Documentary Series will be debuting as an hour and a half documentary. You can watch the documentary on NBC’s National LX network this Saturday, January 9th at 7 PM (PST).  NBCLX is broadcasting over the air and on cable in 30 US markets, all top 25.  It reaches 32 million households.  NBCLX is also streaming on LX.com, Peacock and available in the NBC Owned Station digital products and apps.

This new level of exposure for STOLEN required us to consolidate the seven-episode series into a feature-length 90-minute documentary. It was a painstaking process to make these edits while preserving the heart of the investigation and, most importantly, the survivors’ voices. Those with lived experience deserve a tremendous amount of recognition for their strength and courage in sharing their message for others’ benefit.  Our mission is to share the truth surrounding this issue with as broad an audience as possible.  We are grateful for the opportunity this national launch provides.

The documentary is expected to air on NBCLX more than once.  If you’d like to watch its debut live this Saturday evening (7PM Pacific/10PM Eastern) the best way to watch may be through NBC’s Peacock app. The attached graphic lists the local San Diego cable channels where you can watch.

Thank you for your continued support.

Monica Dean, News Anchor

Here’s some information on how you can tune in:


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by JW August, communications director, BSCC

Trafficking in humans cannot survive if this criminal activity loses the ability to enslave humans and make the money that fuels the effort. Criminal organizations and individual operators both need a supply of victims and the ability to make money. These organizations and individuals have to be able to use and move the funds without law enforcement’s awareness of their activities. Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) provided this warning, “Transnational and criminal organizations are increasingly using virtual currencies to facility drug and sex trafficking.”

As one of the virtual currencies of concern, Bitcoin can be used for legal purchases, similar to an online version of cash. Although Bitcoin transactions are recorded, nobody knows the users’ account numbers which ensures their anonymity. Congressman Vargas’ bill (H.R. 502) instructs the Comptroller General of the United States to make recommendations to Congress for a legislative game plan to combat this “underground” money pipeline.

This effort would also include a deep dive by the Comptroller General to study how the currencies are being used in the dark Web. Rep. Vargas continued, “The data collected will help Congress have a greater understanding of legislative solutions that prevent criminals from using virtual currency for illicit means.” Both chambers of Congress agree this important work must be accomplished—and have included the bill in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

Marisa Ugarte, the Executive Director of the BSCC, states this legislation is vital to center the fight on the traffickers, “If we can cut off their blood (money) supply, we can cripple their operations for both buyer and trafficker.”

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Message from Marisa

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A message from our Executive Director at BSSC.
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Rescue of Three Human Trafficking Victims

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“Saved in America” says it all.”

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by JW August, Communications Director for the BSCC

It’s a charity, a nonprofit, created to “save” victims or would-be victims from the clutches of sex traffickers in America. 

That’s the claim. Based in San Diego, “Saved”  travels the country raising money for its effort. 

   Its founder, Pastor Joseph Travers, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from generous San Diegans.   He has a fundraiser planned  this weekend at a restaurant located at 5487 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.  

Travers has arranged for a local news website to publicize his NEWEST effort to raise big dollars for a transitional safe home for children.  Travers seems to be implying there are no safe havens for children.

“San Diego Needs an Emergency Transitional Safe Home For Children”  

Read full article here: https://northcountydailystar.com/san-diego-needs-an-emergency-transitional-safe-home-for-children/

Recently, Travers used his appearance on KUSI-TV to promote SAVED IN AMERICA and another fundraiser at a Donald Trump Rally along Harbor Drive. 

On display in a parking lot was the 35-foot-long luxury recreational vehicle the County of San Diego gave Traver’s SAVED IN AMERICA to help fight sex trafficking. 

Travers says he has law enforcement skills and recruits other former law enforcement and retired Navy Seals to be part of the rescue efforts.  The pastor convinced former Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and other county officials to pay for the ‘undercover’ RV with its $10,000 paint job and name splashed along the side.   With Gaspar’s support, Travers was in line to run a San Diego County facility for trafficking victims similar to his current appeal for cash for a residential home.  But his early effort was thwarted by the county’s administrative office, which pulled back on the deal but has never explained why.   

It was during this time frame the two stories appeared on NBC7 regarding the pastor and Saved in America:

Full disclosure, I’m the communications director at BSCC and was the producer of the two stories about Travers while I worked at NBC7.  Travers’ recent efforts to raise more funds came to my attention and I felt it warranted an update.

When the NBC7 story first ran, a private investigator, Chris Reynolds, was interviewed because of his extensive knowledge of Travers’ history.  He was sued by Travers, claiming defamation.  But that lawsuit has been dropped, The attorney who filed it on behalf of Travers has not responded to follow-up questions, nor has Travers. 

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