State Police ask for public's help in human trafficking crackdown

Updated: Feb. 17, 2017 at 9:37 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - State police say human trafficking is on the rise, and they'll be out in full force during the All-Star weekend and Carnival.

Their goal is to look for young victims being sold in the trade.

It is a problem as old as civilization that never seems to go away - and it only gets worse this weekend. That's because the NBA All Star game is in town, along with the first big weekend of Carnival. State Police have an extra 165 troopers in the city, and the man in charge says one of their goals will be to try to stop human trafficking.

"These major games bring individuals to the city not here for the right reasons, the unfortunate side of guns, drugs, human trafficking. They happen, and we have to pay attention to them," said State Police Col. Mike Edmonson.

It is a problem we highlighted last year, and it's still with us.

"It's crazy. You've got people constantly threatening you, hitting you, punching you," said an 18-year-old girl named Sarah, who had been a victim since the age of 13.

Though police will be busy with other types of crime, they also say they will keep an eye out for those trapped in the trade

"Call us. We're here for this weekend. But when you see something out of the ordinary, call the police," said Edmonson.

State Police will stay busy for the next two weeks. They say they recently arrested seven people for prostitution, and they are expecting more arrests in the days to come.

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