PALM COAST – Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin isn’t a fan of the concept of closure. “I think closure is a false narrative,” he said, now two and a half years out from the murder of his son, FBI agent Daniel Alfin, as he was serving a warrant. “Closure is an excuse to try to describe an emotion.” Still, everything was changed when the agency informed him that almost a hundred suspects were arrested in the investigation that Daniel had died participating in.
Indeed, the news that the FBI had arrested 98 pepole in connection to a pedophilia ring in the United States and Australia brought a new perspective to Alfin on his son’s killing. But where thinking in terms of closure may cause one to try and store away the feelings and hardships that come with loss for good, Alfin sees it as more pertinent to recognize the positives of the arrests.
Not only were 13 children rescued in Australia, but the scope of the operation will serve to promote public awareness of the prevalence of human trafficking and the efforts of law enforcement organizations to thwart it. And with awareness can come additional resources.
“These things don’t come free,” Alfin pointed out to that end. “If the agency has the funding for this program, that will yield more and more arrests.” Potential funding boosts would come at at a time when public support for defunding the FBI in part or entirely is growing rapidly; ex-President Donald Trump has advocated for such measures, as have representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
“I am encouraged and delighted to know that their work yielded this result, which is not just a significant arrest but it’s the taking down of a cartel,” Alfin continued. “More than that, it’s bringing the issues of child pornography and human trafficking to the attention of the public. The public is somewhat blinded to the fact this goes on, it’s so ugly that people can’t really go there.”
Data from the United States Bureau of Justice shows that prosecution of human trafficking suspects is on the rise. 729 individuals were prosecuted in 2011, compared to 1,343 in 2020. The National Human Trafficking Hotline has identified 82,301 cases of human trafficking since its inception in 2007, with an average of two victims per case. Trafficking in the United States disproportionately affects women and foreign nationals. California, Texas, and Florida have the most cases in sheer numbers, while Mississippi, Nevada, and Missouri have the most per capita.
“I believe that if there is more awareness this is going on, there’s a better chance that our folks like the FBI and all the other agencies, police, and first responders can arrest those people and dole out the punishments that they deserve,” Alfin said.
FBI agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were killed in Sunrise, Florida on February 2nd, 2021. Three others were injured in the shooting. The suspected killer committed suicide shortly after, and so while David Alfin won’t see his son’s killers brought to legal justice, he is now afforded the chance to view the issue in its broader effects, and not just those lingering loose ends from the investigation that took Daniel’s life.