A Marrero woman is behind bars, accused of trafficking a child for sex. Investigators have not released any details about the case against Candice Caulfield, 38, but she was booked Friday with human trafficking, trafficking of a child for sexual purposes, second-degree cruelty to juveniles, contributing to the endangerment of a juvenile, promoting prostitution, enticing a person into prostitution, according to arrest records and the state Attorney General's Office.
The attorney general's Cyber Crime Unit arrested Caulfield following an investigation with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and U.S. Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations division, according to Laura Colligan, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.
The Cyber Crimes Unit began looking into Caulfield's activities after they received a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Colligan said. Investigators executed a search warrant at her home, 1840 Wellington Drive, Marrero, and arrested her.
In a written statement, Attorney General James Caldwell said his investigators joined forces with local, federal and non-profit agencies to “combat the buying, selling and abuse of innocent children.”
“It's important for people to know that child sex trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries or something you see in the movies. It's real, and, despite having some of the toughest human trafficking laws in the nation, it exists right here in Louisiana,” Caldwell said.
Caulfield was being held without bond Tuesday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on the charges related to the investigation. She was also booked with three outstanding traffic attachments.
While the attorney general's office remained mum about Caldwell's case, officials offered the public red flags that can indicate a child is the victim of sexual trafficking.
Those warning signs include a child who:
- Is not free to leave the place of residence or interact with friends.
- Has unexplained absences from school for a period of time or demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular basis.
- Has bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression or fear.
- Has high-security measures in the home such as opaque or boarded up windows, locked gates, barbed wire or security cameras around the residence.
- Is not allowed or able to speak or communicate for themselves; a third party may insist on being present.
Anyone with information Candice Caulfield or any other incidents of child sex trafficking should contact the Louisiana Attorney General's Cyber Crime Unit at 1.800.256.4506. Suspected cases of human trafficking can also be reported to local and state law enforcement agencies, or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1.888.373.7888.
Credits: Marrero woman booked with child sex trafficking, promoting prostitution – The Times-Picayune – NOLA.com