Retired agent Masayo Halpin served in the FBI for twenty years. During her career, she was assigned to the Portland Division, where she worked white collar, domestic terrorism and cyber investigations. Primarily, for most of her time in the Bureau, she worked human trafficking cases on a Violent Crimes Squad.
In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Masayo reviews the case of a 14-year-old girl trafficked through manipulation and daily beatings, and forced her into sex work.
Although initially reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement, Lucy (not her real name) stayed in contact with Masayo with and after five years was finally ready to testify against Tony Armstrong, aka “Priceless.”
Masayo served as the Crimes Against Children Coordinator and created the Portland Innocence Lost Task Force, now known as the Child Exploitation Task Force.
The task force was comprised of four local law enforcement agencies and the FBI. It investigated cases involving the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. The task force collaborated with the non-governmental organizations to focus on services for the victims of sex trafficking. Prior to joining the FBI, Masayo was an attorney in Philadelphia and she served as a legal advisor for the field office. She was also a member of the Hostage Negotiation Team and Evidence Response Team. She ended her career at the FBI as the Recruiter and working Community Outreach.
Masayo is beginning a new career as a community college instructor teaching courses on ethics and human trafficking. She is also working with an author on a memoir about her big undercover case and childhood events that played a role in her FBI career choices.
Special Agent (Retired)
12/1997 – 12/2017
“Lucy said, ‘I’ll talk to you about the game. But I’m not gonna talk to you about my daddy, my trafficker. Because you snitch, you die.’”—Retired Agent Masayo Halpin
The following are articles about Masayo’s case, the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force and human trafficking:
U.S. Attorney’s Office -District of Oregon – 12/52013: Portland Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 200 Months in Federal Prison
FBI.gov website: WHAT WE INVESTIGATE – Human Trafficking
Hope for Justice: National Human Trafficking Awareness Month