Des Moines human trafficking arrest

May 17, 2018 | Brainwave Science



Altoona police made a Des Moines human trafficking arrest. Michael AJ Nelson, 32, was arrested Monday and booked at the Polk County Jail on felony charges of having a weapon and trafficking. He allegedly tried to force a woman into prostitution.

Police documents show the suspect allegedly fired in the air from a handgun when the victim told him she didn’t want to solicit sex. After the gunshot, the woman over the age of 18 got in the car and the suspect took her to the Flying J in Altoona.

Police say the two approached someone at the Flying J to solicit sex, and it was the prospective John who later called the police.

Police say the woman gave a description of Nelson, and officers found him nearby. They were able to locate Nelson’s firearm and found that he was drunk more than twice the legal limit. He was arrested for human trafficking, illegal carrying of a weapon, and OWI.




This Des Moines human trafficking case is just one in a series of more. While the woman in this particular case was listed as age 18 or older, statistics show there were 23 cases involving minors in Iowa last year.

The problem is getting worse.  According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Iowa saw 74 reported human trafficking cases in 2017; that number has grown every year since 2012. Experts say the growth is partly due to increased awareness for the signs of trafficking, but also because it’s easier than ever for traffickers and their clients.

In today’s world, criminals often find their victims online, through social media channels. In addition, law enforcement doesn’t always get the expected results from the investigative technologies at their disposal. A DNA or polygraph test is often short in results and can be applied in specific conditions.

So how can law enforcement better strategize to obtain more results from their investigations in the Des Moines human trafficking case?




Did you ever imagine that an investigation could rely on what is stored in the human brain? iCognative technology provided by Brainwave Science is an innovative investigative tool that has the ability to distinguish between innocents and suspects by detecting concealed or hidden information in the brain. The use of this technology extends in investigative actions initiated by Law Enforcement, Border Security, Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence disciplines. Furthermore, it outranks classical investigative methods such as the polygraph/Lie detector or DNA test because of their application and accuracy issues as well as limited availability respectively.

In the Des Moines human trafficking case, iCognative can help law enforcement find out more about the suspect’s connections to human trafficking. iCognative can determine with 99.9% accuracy what the suspect knows. iCognative test can be conducted on Michael AJ Nelson or other suspicious parties that the authorities consider of interest in the case. The technology is noninvasive as it fully respects human rights. iCognative by Brainwave Science is an unbeaten technology that is applicable in virtually any case. So far 100% of determinations made by this technology have been accurate and there are no false positives.

In order to match information from the crime scene with information stored in the subject’s brain, a test case needs to be built. This will contain stimuli input into the system as words, phrases, pictures (depending on the available form) a variety of information that is known only to the perpetrator. Let’s consider what the media has given so far as information about the case: location of the sex trafficking proposal – Flying J in Altoona; the handgun from which Nelson fired in the air; how he took the woman to Altoona – in his car; the identity of the man they approached; the state the suspect was found in – drunk.  The iCognative software will analyze at the end of the test the suspect’s brain response to each of the above-mentioned stimulus. Then, it will determine with a single click, if the information is present in the suspect’s brain or not, as the system will catch P300/P300 MERMER – event-related potential emitted by suspect’s brain when analyzing the brain’s response to each stimulus. With the results gathered from this test, law enforcement can advance the case and uncover what other information Nelson knows, such as if he’s a part of a trafficking network and more.

iCognative by Brainwave science gives more power to law enforcement authorities worldwide. Empowered by the power of this infallible tool lagging investigations, cold cases, and crime clearance rates can suddenly see a volcanic push towards truth and justice.



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