GREENFIELD — A 35-year-old man from Greenfield is facing human trafficking charges after he was found with a young boy in Arizona earlier this month.
On Sept. 8, a Navajo County deputy conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 40 at milepost 258 in the area of Winslow, Ariz.
After an investigation was conducted, it was learned that the driver — Julio Ramirez-Felipe, 35, of Greenfield — was traveling with a juvenile boy who was not related or known to him. Ramirez-Felipe was arrested and booked into Navajo County Jail for assisting in a human smuggling organization.
Deputies at the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, specifically the deputies assigned to the Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU), have received substantial training on recognizing and detecting signs of human trafficking.
During the traffic stop, the CIU 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. He is currently being held on an immigration detainer.
The deputy is working with partnering investigative agencies to further investigate this incident.
“I would like to commend my deputy for his exemplary investigative work on this traffic stop. Because of this simple traffic stop and furtherance of his investigation, an innocent child was rescued from danger,” stated Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse in a news release. “Human trafficking is a real issue that affects too many children. Thank you to the men and women who combat these issues every day.”
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.
Anyone who suspects someone is a victim of human trafficking or needs help is urged to take action by immediately calling 911, the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE).