Task Force: Human Trafficking is Here in Lynchburg Area
Lynchburg, VA - The response was so overwhelming, the organizers of a human trafficking conference happening Friday in Lynchburg had to find a bigger venue.
The problem they'll be discussing is even larger and growing according to our local Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
"There's activity going on in the hotels here," said Sgt. Steve Anders.
Law enforcement agents say it's going on behind closed doors. It's sometimes along the streets and up and down Interstates 81 and 64.
"Then you've got state routes like 29 that come up from the Raleigh/Greensboro area in North Carolina up through DC giving them access to points further north into New England," said Anders.
Sgt. Steve Anders says Virginia task forces uncovered close to 60 child prostitution cases last year.
"It's not so much the scenario of someone pulling up in a van and taking your children," said Johanna Calfee with Freedom 4/24.
It can happen to children or adults according to Johanna Calfee with Freedom 4/24, an organization that works to make people aware of human trafficking globally and here at home.
"In the United States it's a lot of organized groups that know who to look for," said Calfee. "Then they're stuck being moved from city to city to city with no way out."
Officers scour online classifieds looking for key words .
"Available in Lynchburg today, they're in town for a few days, one day only," said Anders.
The here one day, gone the next element can make it difficult for law enforcement to get ahead of the traffickers.