Human Trafficking Task Force

Yellowstone County Area, Montana





Trafficking Card QR Code

Local Law Enforcement

24-Hour Victim Services
833-406-STOP or 406STOP.COM
(call, text, or live chat)

Tips/Anything Suspicious:

FBI Special Agent Brandon Walter

MT DOJ Agent Andrew Yedinak

Billings Police Officer Mike Yarina

Signs of Trafficking

Labor Trafficking

Sex Trafficking



The Human Trafficking Task Force was created in 2016 to fight human trafficking, by helping to coordinate the efforts of law enforcement, service providers, community groups, and volunteers in Yellowstone County, Montana and in the surrounding areas in their work to investigate and prosecute traffickers, to assist victims of sex trafficking and labor trafficking, to increase community awareness, and prevent future trafficking. It has been registered with the state as a nonprofit since 2020.

The Task Force has grown to over 800 members, representing individuals and over 100 partner organizations and agencies. It is led by co-founders Penny Ronning and Stephanie Baucus, and a steering committee, which includes law enforcement, service providers, and volunteers. The Task Force has been instrumental in increasing public understanding and awareness of sex trafficking and forced labor in rural areas, including IMBs.

The Task Force has conducted over 300 trainings, hosted Montana’s largest trafficking conference, distributed over 70,000 signs of trafficking cards, coordinated public awareness campaigns, helped launch other regional task forces, and coordinated with members to save resources and fill gaps in services.

The mission of the Task Force is to eliminate human trafficking in Montana and our nation, by:
• Increasing awareness and educating the community;
• Engaging and training law enforcement and prosecutors to identify, investigate, and prosecute traffickers;
• Identifying, supporting and protecting victims;
• Assisting educators and others who serve victims and at-risk youth;
• Facilitating coordination and information sharing among service providers, supporting service providers, and developing partnerships to fill service gaps and avoid duplication of efforts;
• Activating government and business leaders;
• Advocating for effective policy; and
• Working together to fight trafficking and protect its victims

Selected Projects, Awards, and Accomplishments

Structure, Leadership, And Membership


The Task Force’s volunteer co-chairs founded the Task Force, along with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Task Force’s Steering Committee (SC) consists of the co-chairs, coordinators, committee chairs, and other leaders.

Stop Trafficking Montana Leadership Group

Volunteer Task Force Leaders

Structure, Leadership, and Membership picture

The work of the Task Force is divided into three primary committees and one coordinator position to help manage the Task Force’s partnerships:

The Task Force now includes over 800 representatives from over 100 organizations, including the USAO, FBI, MT and local law enforcement, prosecutors, government, schools, hospitals, nonprofits, churches, businesses, and the community.


Co-Chairs: Melanie Tripp, Zonta
Scott Koch, Whitewood Transport

The Work of the Task Force picture 1

Co-Chairs: Michele Stewart, FBI
Rhonda Busenitz (USAO), Co-Chair
Georgia Cady, Tumbleweed
Erin Lambert, YWCA
Dr. Cynthia Brewer, Billings Clinic
Erin Harris, Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office

The Work of the Task Force picture 2

Co-Chair: Brandon Walter, FBI
Co-Chair: Zeno Baucus
Co-Chair: Andy Yedinak, MT DOJ

The Work of the Task Force picture 3

Erin Walker, End Exploitation Montana

The Work of the Task Force picture 4


Project Hope Kits

Our Task Force routinely supplies our area law enforcement officers with Project Hope Kits to help victims of human trafficking that they encounter.  If you

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There are many ways to get involved in the fight against human trafficking
in our area:

  • The Task Force meets quarterly in person at the Billings Public
    Library and by Zoom. Please email us to get on the email list, and
    you will get notices of those meetings.
  • Its three committees each have their own meeting schedules.
  • Protection and Victim Services and Prosecution and Law Enforcement meet as needed. Contact us if you work in one of these fields and want to join either of these committees.
  • Prevention and Community Awareness meets monthly on the second Tuesday of every month at 11:30 AM at Underriner Honda. Anyone who wants to help fight trafficking in our area is welcomed to join those meetings.
  • Contact us at with any questions or to be added to our distribution list.
  • Join one of our over 100 partner organizations.
  • Follow us on: