DETECTIVE HONORED AS WIFLE AWARD RECIPIENT FIRST TIME HONOREE
Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard proudly announces Detective Theresa Nietzel is the first ever national recipient of the 2017 Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) – Outstanding Contribution of a State or Local Officer on a Federal Task Force. This award recognizes the exceptional investigative work of a state or local law enforcement officer in a task force group investigating an individual engaged in the trafficking of women or children for sexual exploitation or any individual for forced labor; crimes of violence against women or any minority group; or civil rights violation.
Detective Nietzel was honored at WIFLE’s annual convention on August 2, and on August 31, Sheriff Howard, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly officially presented the award. Task force officer and Sheriff’s Detective Nietzel was recognized for her exceptional investigative skills in numerous cases investigated by the Human Smuggling and Trafficking group within the Homeland Security Investigations Border Enforcement Security Task Force. Sheriff Timothy Howard said, “I am extremely proud of Detective Nietzel and the tremendous work she has accomplished for the people of Western New York. The mix of talented police work and instincts with her compassion for the victims has resulted in the successful arrest and prosecution of criminals who are taking advantage of women and children. Her tenacious investigations will save more victims and result in many more human trafficking arrests.” "I cannot think of a more deserving person to be recognized for this prestigious WIFLE award," said Kelly. "HSI has benefited greatly from Deputy Nietzel's many contributions and our community is a safer place as a result." Two cases in which Detective Nietzel demonstrated tremendous investigative work were the Randon Moultrie and the Zaylik Harrison cases. Following an initial arrest by the Amherst Police Department, Detective Nietzel determined Randon Moultrie was sex trafficking females using internet prostitution advertisements. In November 2016, Moultrie was sentenced to five to ten years on charges of promoting prostitution charges. The other case, Detective Nietzel, and HSI agents encountered a 16-year-old victim after receiving information that a minor was posting on the local escort section of an adult website used to promote prostitution. The victim provided investigators with information which allowed them to identify Zaylik Harrison. The Detective also discovered Harrison was benefiting financially from the minor’s forced sexual acts and that Harrison was providing minors with illegal narcotics. In March 2017, Harrison pleaded guilty to federal charges which included sex trafficking of a child and in July 2017, he was sentenced to 11 years and 3 months. The original group known as ICWIFLE started in the 1970’s as an interagency committee formed by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury to address attracting and retaining women to the federal law enforcement positions. Then in 2006, the WIFLE Foundation incorporated and began providing Annual Leadership Training, seminars, and Scholarship Programs. WIFLE works to promote and support women in law enforcement.