In early March, I was invited to Albuquerque, New Mexico to observe DeliverFund in the field. DeliverFund is an innovative convergence of organization, crossover skills, and the best practices in personnel and resource management. In their own words, “DeliverFund disrupts global human trafficking markets by combining uniquely qualified personnel with the best technologies, and then leveraging them in new ways to reach and rescue the victims of human trafficking.”[1]

Simply put, DeliverFund is a civilian-operated non-profit organization and law enforcement partner that gathers intelligence in support of law enforcement operations to disrupt human trafficking in the United State of America and beyond.

The opportunity to observe DeliverFund began with a meeting at a truck-stop diner near the highway intersection of I-25 and I-40 in downtown Albuquerque, and from the beginning, it was apparent that this was the perfect place to start. At the diner, I met my contact and guide from DeliverFund, who will remain anonymous due to operational-security concerns.

I had descended deep into Albuquerque via Texas, already well into my investigation on the border, and was looking forward to being in civilization—if only for a short time. The city itself appeared tiny on the canvas of vast spaces and big skies that make up the Southwestern United States. The roadside along the way was deep with scars, chiseled out of the face of the earth through millennia of fire and ice. I was increasingly awestruck on the drive as I traversed the inspiring Chihuahua Desert and on through the Colorado Plateau, slithering along the terrain of the Rio Grande Rift and into Albuquerque.

There, the scenery swiftly shifted, and the demographic lines of economics in Albuquerque became as apparent as the nearby geographic barriers of the Manzano Mountains. En route, I followed the written instructions sent to me by my guide the day prior in order to reach our meeting site. My stop was only a short drive from the exit ramp; it highlighted five parked police vehicles, which assured me I must be on the correct path.

With lights flashing and sirens off, they had parked at sharp angles, in a line reaching from traffic through an alley that dissected the rear of a derelict strip mall and a tractor-trailer parking lot. This sight was welcoming, as the officers were out of their vehicles and detaining who could have easily become brigands in my path had I arrived only a few moments prior.

The left turn at Albuquerque that Bugs Bunny often spoke of. Image courtesy of Buck Clay.

My rendezvous point was at a truck-stop diner, adjacent to the tractor-trailer parking lot. This was an opportunity for me to reorganize my vehicle and take inventory before my contact arrived—or so I thought. Once I parked, I got to work, but within minutes, my location and anonymity were unveiled.