Law Enforcement Officials Team Up To Stop Human Trafficking
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a disturbing trend in sex crimes against children. More minors are being lured into prostitution, often against their will.
Adam May reports on what’s being done to stop it.
Maryland has become a hub for human trafficking. Monday, hundreds of law enforcement officials got a crash course about the problem.
Inside a Silver Spring hotel room, a 15-year-old girl was forced to have sex with numerous men after she was lured from New York for a fake modeling job.
Rodney Hubert is now serving five years in prison for human trafficking. The crime affects up to 300,000 American children every year.
“Human trafficking is an emerging problem in Maryland,” said Homeland Security Agent Adrian Sanders.
Sanders is one of many experts speaking at Governor Martin O’Malley’s conference on the issue. It’s intended to train police on how to prosecute offenders and identify victims, like another Maryland teen recently saved from gang members who used Facebook to entice her to run away from her family.
“Once she ran away to them, she became a sex slave for the MS-13 gang,” Sanders said.
Organizations that work with victims also spoke at the conference, sharing emotional stories from young women trapped as sex slaves.
“All the girls are crying. We want to go home because we’re treated like crap,” said one.
Human sex trafficking cases have been reported in almost every Maryland county, but they’re heavily concentrated in the hotel district surrounding BWI, where clients are plentiful.
Since 2007, the state has passed nine laws intended to crack down on human trafficking. Another nine bills failed to make it out of the legislature.
If you see signs of human trafficking, you can report them to 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.