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Truckers asked to help stop sex trafficking

Truckers asked to help stop sex trafficking

By Rikki Cheese. CREATED Feb 22, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Authorities in Southern Nevada are asking truck drivers to be the eyes and ears to help fight human sex trafficking in Sin City and the surrounding areas. 

The Morton Travel Plaza truck stop at I-15 and Cheyenne was the backdrop for a press conference on Wednesday to call attention to the problem of human trafficking.

Lt. Karen Hughes of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's vice section said, "There are so many different types of places where these pimps will exploit the women, and this is one of them."

Nevada Assemblyman John Hambrick has introduced legislation to strengthen Nevada's human trafficking laws. He says the men and women who drive big rigs through truck stops and across the country, as key to saving girls, boys and adults from being sold for sex. Hambrick said, "These are the eyes and ears."

Hambrick was flanked by a coalition of law enforcement and trucking industry agencies who are asking truckers for help identifying warning signs of sexual exploitation. They include minors, even adults, who seem nervous, afraid and even unaware of their surroundings.

Kendis Paris, the national director for Truckers Against Trafficking said, "The Department of Justice estimates that anywhere between 100 thousand to 300 thousand of America's children are at risk for entering the sex for sale industry every year."

 Lt. Hughes says it's a particular problem in Las Vegas, where prostitution is illegal but the perception is, anything goes in Sin City.

Lt. Hughes says, the number of victims of human trafficking locally is significant. "Just since our agency's been tracking them since 1994, we have close to 21-hundred kids that we've identified involved in prostitution, or being trafficked."

Truckers and anyone who suspects a person is a victim of human trafficking is asked to a call a national hot line. That number is 1-888-373-7888.






Rikki Cheese

Rikki Cheese

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Rikki Cheese is currently an anchor and reporter for Action News.