An Ohio man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Maryland on human trafficking and prostitution charges.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - As agents in Ohio investigate liquor permit establishments for alcohol, drugs and weapons violations, they're also looking for human traffickers and victims of the crime.
Every agent has received training on how to spot signs of human trafficking in Ohio's bars, restaurants and other places that serve alcohol.
Last October, agents attended human trafficking awareness training by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The training explained what human trafficking looks like and what agents do when they see the illegal activity.
"Our agents are often in a prime setting to spot victims of human trafficking," said Agent-in-Charge Eric Wolf. "In these cases, time is of the essence. Our agents can start the process to get these people to safety and do so quickly."
Many victims of human trafficking are often moved through adult entertainment clubs, or even truck stops, which often have liquor permits.
Signs someone may be a human trafficking victim include:
- unable to come and go as they please
- under 18 years old providing commercial sex acts
- has very few or no personal possessions and are not in control of their own money and identification
- claims to be visiting and can't say where they're staying
- inconsistencies in their story
Anyone who thinks they have come into contact with a victim of human trafficking should call OIU at #677 on your cellphone or for emergencies, dial 911.
Experts in the U.S. increasingly are applying the label "human trafficking" to homegrown prostitution. Lawmakers, police and prosecutors are starting to shift their view on this, too.
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