Going Undercover to Catch a Predator (Child Trafficking in the US)

About the Podcast

Welcome to another powerful episode of Liberating Humanity, the podcast where we dive deep into the harrowing world of child trafficking with your host Paul Hutchinson and Chris Avena. In this gripping episode, Paul shares the catalyst that drove him to devote his life to rescuing over 5,000 kidnapped and trafficked children over the last decade. Despite their success, Paul grapples with the unsettling truth that more children are being sold today than ten years ago.

Paul sheds light on the complexity of the rescue mission, emphasizing the  importance of Aftercare and trauma healing. He delves into the heart-wrenching stories of children rescued from familial trafficking in Southeast Asia and outlines the challenges of adoption processes, emphasizing the need for streamlined procedures to place these children in loving homes.

Paul also unveils a new dimension to his efforts, sharing the Child Liberation Foundation’s shift towards healing retreats for adults who have experienced childhood trauma. The podcast concludes with a powerful message about the role of healing in breaking the cycle of generational abuse, encouraging listeners to join the cause and support efforts to protect vulnerable children.

Join us for yet another impactful episode of Liberating Humanity, where we delve into critical issues and strive to find inventive solutions, all in our quest to build a more promising world.

For healing programs visit https://liberating-humanity.com/heal/

Transcript

Chris Avena[00:00:26]

Chris Avena with American outdoor news and today we’re going to get a little bit off topic. We’re not going to be talking out hunting and Outdoors. We’re going to be talking about something that every parent and every American should be interested in. We’re going to be talking about human trafficking, child trafficking. Today’s guest has been involved in breaking up those child trafficking rings for years in the most unlikely places. Please welcome Mr.Paul Hutchinson.

Paul Hutchinson [00:01:02]

Thank you Chris. I appreciate you having me on your show. Sharing some of these delicate topics. I promise that we won’t go so dark that people have to turn off. There’s a lot of light and beauty in rescue and rehabilitation and reuniting of these children with their families. This has been my passion for the last 10 years. I’ve been involved or led over 70 undercover rescue missions in 15 countries. Worked with a number of different foundations in doing so. A movie coming out later this year.  One of the largest child rescue missions ever. 127 children in Colombia will go into details on that one as well. It’s something that all of us need to be aware of and something that we can do together. We can fight and win this war. 

Chris Avena [00:01:56]

Now, let’s start with your background. What in your background brought you into something like this? This is not something you wake up one day and say I want to get into breaking up these trafficking ways. 

Paul Hutchinson [00:02:11]

Absolutely. 

Chris Avena [00:02:!3]

From what I understand you have a particular set of skills that you’ve accumulated over a long career.  

Paul Hutchinson [00:02:20]

That I have. I’ve been drawn for many many many years to studying hand-to-hand combat and getting very good with weapons. I didn’t end up joining the military but I had this strong feeling for many years that it would be an important part of my life. I didn’t know if it was because the apocalypse was going to come before I got older. Whether I got called into a war or whatever but I knew that I would be able to sleep better at night if I could handle any situation that came up with my bare hands, with weapons, etc. and when you get to that place of inner confidence, it gives you peace. You don’t have to be all out there and angry. You can live from a place of true peace. In fact most of my trainers are some of the calmest men and women that you’ve ever known and they would walk in the room and you wouldn’t know that they had the ability to take the whole room if necessary and it comes from that calm place inside from doing that training. Background on me. I’ve always been involved in charity organizations, specifically in relating to children. When I was a child, 10 years old, I wanted to be a Pediatric Cardiologist. I figured I could be a heart surgeon but a heart surgeon for children. I had this passion for helping kids even when I was young. Fast forward I ended up serving on a number of different Board of Directors for different charities and was on the Make-A-Wish Board of Directors for seven years. Incoming chairman from English within the western U.S here in Utah. When I got a call, I got this call from our attorney general Sean Reyes. Sean wanted to introduce me to somebody who had worked with Homeland Security. He was trying to start a foundation, he had worked in anti-child trafficking. He was in Colombia and had found a bunch of children down there that he wanted to rescue and he needed fifty thousand dollars to make this rescue happen yet his position at the government wouldn’t fund it because he couldn’t prove that there were any Americans involved. He was mad. He was like, “It doesn’t matter what country they’re from,” he said, “I believe that there are some Americans involved here if nothing else there’s Americans that were coming down creating this problem,” whether it was American kids or not that were involved in the trafficking and so, myself and others helped in the beginning to fund that rescue and some others. He called me a few weeks later, he said Paul, I’m in Colombia, there’s not just 20 children here, there’s more than 50 in Cartagena area and more than a hundred children in surrounding cities that he believed were tied to the same ring. He said we have a plan, that we could rescue all of these children on the same day at the same time. He said, I could use your help if you’re interested. I said, “well, how much do you need?” He said, I need you. Could you be in Colombia in two days? Now, he knew more about my background than most people from a security standpoint but the reason why I was chosen to come down was not just that, It was the fact that I was a co-founder of a multi-billion dollar real estate investment fund. I have that knowledge of being able to negotiate at that level. The head trafficker down there had a piece of property on an island that he had inherited from his mom. He wanted to develop it into a child brothel’s sex resource similar to what Jeffrey Epstein was doing. He needed eight million dollars to build out this resort for horrible things. What the homeland security plan was for some of these operators is, if I would come down and sit with these guys in Colombia and say, “listen, I’m willing to take a look at your project. I’m willing to fund it under one condition, we’re gonna have a party in a couple weeks. I’m bringing down a bunch of my rich buddies, they’re into kids and you pull together a group of all the kids that you have access to, all the ones that you’re controlling and your buddies are controlling right now, bring them all together and if I’m impressed, then I’ll go ahead and fund your deal.” I’m sitting in this meeting with these guys and there’s four traffic, three males, one female, this female was a Miss. She was a beauty queen like Miss Cartagena and the story I’m telling you is coming out in a movie this year, it’s called the ‘Sound of Freedom’. Jim Caviezel plays Jesus’ passions of Christ count on Monte Cristo. He plays a part of the homeland security agent, Tim the actor, who plays me is Eduardo Verástegui. He’s one of the more famous actors in Mexico. He doesn’t use my name because we filmed it while I was still undercover. He doesn’t play Paul Hutchinson. He plays Pablo Delgado, the billion dollar fund manager who goes undercover and helps rescue kids. And so back to the story, I’m down there. I’m sitting across this table. There’s a former CAA, and former undercover FBI guys that were down there. That was part of this sting and one of the traffickers leans forward and he goes, Pablo, I have a gift for you. I said, “really? What’s your gift?” And he showed me his phone and there’s a picture of a little 11 year old girl on his phone.

Paul Hutchinson [00:08:13]

He said, This is Princess. She’s still a virgin. We just took delivery of some. She’s my gift for your party and started talking about some really bad things that you could do to this little girl. One of my security guys was a Navy Seal. He was standing right behind me. His name was Dutch. He had to walk around to the restaurant. He said, I’m gonna go check out some other things in the restaurant. Later, he said, “you know, I was so mad that the little girl looked like my daughter at home. he said, I almost unholstered my weapon and took care of the situation right there but we would have lost all those kids ” and something these guys said made me realize, he had more than just her. I said, “have you taken delivery? You have more virgins to go to?” Yeah, I got three or four more. I said, “you have to bring those to the party as well.” He said, “oh no, they’re too expensive, they’re already paying 25 000 for this party. We’re paying 500 per child for a minimum of 50 Children just for two hours in the afternoon,” and he goes” Hefe, you already paid twenty five thousand,  if you want a virgin it’s gonna cost you extra five thousand, maybe ten thousand for that little one. And I was so mad, he’s talking about these children like their commodities. And I’m like, you think I can afford an extra ten thousand dollars? Anyway, two weeks later. We fly back in. We met with the U.S embassy Colombian federal agents. They provided 40 agents for us, four of them were our maids, four of whom were waiters working with our cooks.  You know, they’re not very good cooks but they’re armed. 25 were there to storm the party at the right time and they brought them to Cartagena, they brought 54 children. Almost every one of them were under the age of 16 years old. Most of them were kidnapped. A lot of them were kidnapped from other countries, a lot of them were from that area, and this beauty queen had a fake modeling agency. She was going around towns and the area and telling the parents, “oh your daughter’s too pretty to be working in the fields, she should be a model” and they would bring her out for a photo shoot, and boom. They would disappear. Horrible story. The most beautiful moment of my life was after the agents stormed the party. Arrested everybody. 30 Child Protective Services. People came in with the children and they started laughing, they started singing, with the children, and that sound of Freedom with the children singing compared to the crying that we heard half an hour before. That was the most beautiful stem that I ever heard. I started crying, that’s why we named the movie “The Sound of Freedom.” I turned to that Attorney General and said bro, I’ve spent my whole life making rich people richer. I said, I want to make a difference, I want to write a check, what do you need? and he said Paul, unfortunately the majority of demand for this horrible act in second and third world countries comes from wealthy businessmen and first world countries. He said, I can’t teach my Navy Seals how to wear a 50 000 watch in a four thousand dollar suit and negotiate a multi-million dollar deal. He said, I haven’t found a successful business owner who’s had the training that you’ve had. He said, if you’re willing to be the bait, I’ll change your whole life. I had a couple of my undercover operators that had traveled around the entire world hunting animals everywhere. And he said Paul, there’s nothing I would like more than to hunt bad guys. So he let a couple undercover missions with us as well but every single time I’ve done these undercover works, every one of these kids has a story, just like that little one that was brought in for modeling. People ask why are you going public? And the answer is simple, ten years ago when I sat in front of that little 11 year old and she had tear stains in her makeup face and she was scared to death. I made a decision that day, that I would do everything in my power to eradicate this problem. I would put money into it, I’d raise money for it, I would do the undercover, whatever I needed to do to fix this problem and through our foundation, others that we have helped get started, others that we have helped fund over 5 000 kidnapped in traffic children have been rescued by these different organizations over the last five, 10 years, and the problem is that there’s more children being sold today than there was 10 years ago.  So I have to ask myself, Are we making a difference? And the answer is yes. We’re making a difference with those children that we pulled out but if we haven’t fixed the demand, if we haven’t figured out how to fix the generational trauma that’s creating the demand in the first place, then we’re just creating a vacuum and more children are going to be sucked into the recesses of hell. 

Chris Avena [00:13:12]

There’s no consequences. We’re in a lawless society where they can do what they want and they’re out on the street the next day. If there’s consequences to their actions, you’re going to see change. Now, take a step back, you rescue these children, what do you do with them? Are they reunited with their family? Are they relocated to a safe environment? Are they put with foster families? What happens to them? 

Paul Hutchinson [00:13:50]

If the parents reported them abducted, then the parents get them back, it’s easy to find them. If they didn’t, sometimes the parents were involved. In Southeast Asia and Thailand more than half of the children we helped rescue in Thailand were sold by their own families and if that’s the case you can’t put them back in a home where they’re going to consult again. Now, that’s a whole other discussion of why a mother would sell her child. You know, Object poverty and needing to be able to feed the other four children. It’s a sad situation there and she’s hoping that maybe some wealthy American will fall in love with her in a brothel and she’ll have a better life. Very sad situation. If they were involved at all, of course they don’t get them back. Before we would go into the country we would make sure that we had relationships with aftercare, with foundations, NGOs that were in the country that already were helping children that were coming off the streets, Etc. We would put money into those organizations to help fund them and make sure they had enough beds before we would even go in and do the sting because we need to make sure. We can’t pull them out of hell and put them into another hell and we need to make sure that we can identify some healthy families. There are families everywhere that are willing to sacrifice the next 10 to 40 years of their life with a challenged child, they just don’t have the money to pay for the adoptions and getting people into a good place, and so through our foundation the “Child Liberation Foundation” we have identified other foundations that are providing adoption services, providing safe houses, things like that for the aftercare with the children. That’s where the maturity of the cost comes in when you’ve been rescued, some of these kids are taking care of them after you pull them out of hell.

Chris Avena [00:15:50]

Well there’s a lot of good families that are looking to adopt and I know that the whole route of adoption is filled with red tape. You get around that.

Paul Hutchinson [00:16:05]

So difficult, especially when we’re coming in from other countries. There were a few families that wanted to adopt a bunch of the children that we have provided from Haiti. In fact, even that homeland security agent I told you about in the beginning, their family wanted to adopt two of the kids that had been rescued by the organization back. Two years before he was able to get them they actually decided this is the kids we want started filling out. It was two years later before they were able to actually take the kids home. There’s so much red tape and so much money going into it. so many pockets, where there was a loving home waiting for these kids. I can understand some of the red tape to make sure that kids don’t end up back into homes that would traffic them, in any other way hurting them in any other ways, but there needs to be a better system.

Chris Avena [00:16:56]

Well, You’ve got to be able to vet the families that are going to be adopting them but there has to be a way to expedite it.

Paul Hutchinson [00:17:09]

Yeah, without all the extra red tape money going into people’s pockets everywhere and taking years to do.

Chris Avena [00:17:17]

So, how do you go from being a venture capitalist into doing this? You’re doing it full time now?

Or whereas the opportunities arise.

Paul Hutchinson [00:17:34]

Well for the last 10 years I’ve been involved with or LED 70 undercover rescue missions. That’s about an average of seven a year, that’s about one every two months or so in the number of missions that I went on. Over that time, I retired completely from the bridge investment group. The company that I co-founded. I retired completely in 2017 to focus on charity work and we did a lot of missions since then but my focus turned to a lot of trauma healing. I realized that there were a lot of these kids who just had a really hard time readjusting to real life and in every rescue that we did. There were some older ones, some girls and even guys that were over 20 years old that were being trafficked that we helped rescue as well and some of those even have a harder time readjusting to a real life. So that’s been our primary focus over the last five, six years has been on trauma healing and our full-time focus now is what the foundation itself is still funding other undercover but I did my first public podcast just like this with you about three weeks ago. The interviewer only had about 2 000 followers on his YouTube but it’s been shared over 60 000 times in three weeks and so people are really feeling this need to understand what this challenge is and how we, as a society can fix it. So my full-time focus is not doing more rescue missions, my full-time focus now is, I’ve understood that my role is not just to rescue a 10 year old out of the clutches of a trafficker in Honduras, my role is to rescue the 10 year old inside of every 30, 40 ,50 year old man or woman who has dealt with childhood trauma that was unresolved. I’ve come to an understanding that one child being sold is unacceptable, eight million is beyond comprehension but eight million children being sold is a small number compared to the problem. I believe the problem is this, there is over 200 million men in this world who were raped under the age of 10 years old in their own homes from neighbors, from a family, 92 percent of them and there’s 800 million men who have been a victim of sexual violence in some form in their life, that number is double with women almost 40 percent of all women have experienced sexual violence and a billion women, a fourth of all women experience that as children. So you’ve got well almost 2 billion people in this world who have experienced that degree of trauma as a child in some way or form and it goes two different rates. One thing that happens a lot of people just hold it inside and it comes out in really low self-esteem or lack of belief in yourself and a lot of really energetic challenges others it goes outward in negative behaviors such as verbal abuse, physical abuse, even sexual abuse and this is where we end up with generational trauma. Where I believe, If I can focus my time in and the fact that I’ve been into the pit of hell. If I can focus what I’ve learned from helping people shed their trauma, grow into this place of life and fix the direction in their life before they become contact offenders, then we can save millions of children not just the ones being sold but the ones in our own homes by curbing this demand and changing how people think about each other about themselves, about their past, about their future.

Chris Avena [00:21:38]

I don’t think people realize the enormity of the situation of just how many people’s lives this has touched.

Paul Hutchinson [00:21:51]

Absolutely! In fact, I would dare say Chris, that this affects everybody in some way. I mean even if you didn’t, if you were blessed to not have experienced physical verbal or sexual abuse as a child, even if you didn’t experience those, chances are that one of your parents, if they had a hard time expressing love or whatever else and really connecting with the kids there was probably some trauma a couple generations back that filtered through and created some situations that you had as a kid or you’ve known somebody or dated somebody whatever else that had that kind of trauma. I believe this affects everybody in some shape or form and this is something we can all get behind. Some people get behind saving the trees, some people get behind free rights of guns. This is something that everybody of all religions, right, left, everybody can get behind in saving children from something that’s horrible. 

Chris Avena [00:22:51]

I agree. Now, didn’t the past administration, didn’t the Trump administration have a task force?

Paul Hutchinson [00:23:00]

Yeah absolutely! There in fact, he did more to fight child trafficking than any president in history and there was a lot of focus on that very thing. In fact our attorney general that brought me into this and the homeland security agent that I told you about in the beginning both of them have spent a bunch of time in the White House over that tenure in helping to arrange a lot of that stuff, change the laws. So some beautiful breakthroughs happened because the right people were in leadership that had the right thought. The border wall should not be a political issue, it really shouldn’t, it’s not a right issue. It should be a human trafficking issue. If people understood the number of children that are being trafficked across that porous border, they would be sick to their stomachs and they would do anything in their power to secure that in a way where you don’t end up having the trafficking coming in. It’s unfortunate that the majority of demand for this horrible act comes from U.S citizens. Number one creator and consumer of child pornography comes from the U.S and so we need to fix our people, we need to fix our border, we need to fix the way that we raise our children, we need to fix this problem, we need to make sure that there are consequences all the way across the border. When I very first started this work, one of the challenges we had, is that if somebody went to Columbia or Thailand or wherever and had sex with the 12 year old they have to be prosecuted in that country, under that country’s laws and if those laws were weak in any way then people were getting away with it. So one of the things that Sean Reyes and Tim and some others worked on was, they went in and helped to change the laws. Before, we would have to prove that they made the decision while in the U.S to go abroad and do these horrible things, now, we don’t have to prove that anymore. If you go to Thailand and you have sex with a 12 year old in Thailand even if you’re not prosecuted there, you can be prosecuted in the U.S for that crime which is very unique very few crimes can you do in another country and get prosecuted here. 

Chris Avena [00:25:21]

How can they prove that? 

Paul Hutchinson [00:25:23]

Well, we have a lot of tools. We’ve been through our undercover operations many times. When we take down a trafficker we will give them life in prison but then we’ll allow them to plead down to 25 years in prison in exchange for them giving us the names and contact information of all the U.S Johns that have been down there, that they’ve been in contact with. Those guys 25 years in prison after selling kids they’re gonna get taken care of, I’m telling you why. Here in America unfortunately, I’m saying unfortunately. They separate the pedophiles from bank robbers and the murderers to protect them in a lot of these. Other countries they don’t, they throw them all in. There’s a hierarchy. Where I’ve been in conversation with a drug lord who said, Paul, you may not agree with how I do business. He said, but I’ve got children of my own and those guys are evil. I’m gonna kill and if I do you’ve got 50 little kids and you don’t know where they are or I tell you everything I know, you guys go in, you pull those kids out, get them back to their families, make sure he goes to jail and I’ll take care of it from there. That’s 25 years in prison is plenty. Those guys will get what’s handed to them big time. We’re able to then get that information and go after the U.S Johns and then have through the foundations that we’ve helped start and help to fund and ours over 700 U.S pedophiles have been arrested through some until this come in from those.

Chris Avena [00:27:04]

And, you know what? In the whole scheme of things, that doesn’t sound like a lot of people.

Paul Hutchinson [00:27:06]

It’s really not. In fact here’s a scary number Chris. Another sister organization had a piece of software that went onto the dark web. Most people think that they’re anonymous on the dark web. Nobody can see me, I’m just going direct from computer to computer, I’m not going through search engines or anything else. This piece of software goes into the dark web and identifies everybody that is downloading a child porn, child great video stuff like this and this is a scary number, in one months just in the U.S alone, we identified eight hundred thousand unique individuals, who had downloaded a child rape video. Yes 800 000, 

Chris Avena [00:28:00]

So, those people could be prosecuted for possessing?

Paul Hutchinson [00:28:07]

Yeah, absolutely! They can go to jail for a long time. Every one of them can go to jail for years for every single one that’s on there and here’s the thing, this is the reason that’s so important is that, there’s a chain and this is why I’m coming out to this point where I can help people heal way back here on the chain. Heal from the childhood trauma before they start getting addicted for pornography, before that addiction to pornography ends up needing something younger and younger to have that same fix and that younger and younger pretty soon they’re fantasizing about something they wouldn’t have thought was attractive five years ago and then they’re acting out on these horrific fantasies. Each one of them is a link in the chain. The logo for the Child Liberation Foundation is a barcode. The international symbol of somebody being sold and then the middle bar the barcode is a broken chain and that’s really what it’s about. In fact the original foundation that we worked with had a broken chain as part of theirs. A lot of the child rescue organizations have that because that’s the key. How can we break this chain as early as possible in this whole process?

Chris Avena [00:29:32]

So as an outsider, how does one get involved? How does one help? 

Paul Hutchinson [00:29:40]

I believe that spreading awareness is important. We’ve worked with a lot of big corporations, airports and others that have advertisements out. That is helping people be aware of child trafficking and for a long time, the best thing that somebody could do was to donate to the organization because we couldn’t really take you undercover to go rescue kids and whatnot and that would help with the aftercare Etc. Now that we’ve realized that we can break this chain even earlier before the kids are even in traffic the first time, you give me an hour on a microphone and you say Paul, you’ve got a room full of traffickers and pedophiles right? you’ve got 100 traffickers, you’ve got 100 pedophiles and in this room, and you say Paul, you have an option you can either have a gun for the next hour with no retribution take them all out. That might make you feel good for a minute or you can have a microphone. I would take that microphone and that would be the most transformational 60 minutes of their life. I would take them into the pit of hell. I would show them the depravity of what I have seen firsthand of the lives they’re destroying. I would pull them out of that pit and I would say okay let’s talk about roads to healing. Now, they still need to go to jail so they can have plenty of time where they’re never going to hurt another child again, but I believe that there are Pathways to help people heal and so if a way somebody could help, if they’ve got other to share this podcast, let’s get the word out and get me in touch with other big thought leaders podcast guys that are in the space of potentially healing or people that are that you know just want a different way to lead their life with the spirit of peace and love Etc. I have some systems that will be coming out soon, I have a book that’s coming out soon called “Are you listening? “ Not are you listening here but are you listening here. Right hand on my heart, because every single one of us are born with that intuition, that light of truth, every single one of us and I talk about in that book, how every one of the undercover rescue missions. I wasn’t following logic and protocol, I was listening, I was able to find these kids and those same tools that I used to find the kids are tools that people can use to help lead their life in a way that they’re not going to go down these dark roads, that’s going to lead them to true happiness and and fulfillment and prosperity in their life as well. I talk about how building successful companies came from those same principles of living with integrity and leading from the heart and Etc. So, when the book comes out, I think it’ll transform a lot of lives, more podcasts are coming out, anytime that I can share with people, some of these stories there’s light at the end of the tunnel with every one of these regular rescue missions but if we can rescue the children before they were ever hurt in the first place, that’s my lifetime goal moving forward.

Chris Avena [00:32:52]

Well, we’re gonna have to have you back on when the book and the movie come out, and there’s going to be a lot more to talk about at that point but I appreciate you taking the time to speak to us today and spread the word and for the valuable work that you do as a parent. Any parent would find this is incredibly valuable information.

Paul Hutchinson [00:33:18]

Thank you Chris. Thank you for having me on your show.

Chris Avena [00:33:21]

Well. Thank you again and where can we find you?

Paul Hutchinson [00:33:25]

Right now, you can find me on social media just Paul Hutchinson official. If you don’t want to type out Paul Hutchinson official, you can type out www.soulhealer 007. www.liberating-humanity 

Chirs Avena [00:33:38]

And what about the websites for your foundations that people can know about.

Paul Hutchinson [00:33:43]

Child Liberation Foundation you can find that at liberatechildren.org or liberateachild.org and both of those have some information on the foundation itself and ways you can get involved and help with this movement of eradicating child trafficking.

Chris Avena [00:34:05]

Well. Thank you again for everything that you do and you know, it’s a valuable service and I appreciate you man. 

Paul Hutchinson [00:34:14]

Alright. Thank you Chris, super grateful for letting me share with your team and your audience and love to connect again once the book is out and I’ll share a bunch of additional stories of the rescue missions on that one as well.

Chris Avena [00:34:29]

That’s awesome. Thanks so much.

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