Human Trafficking in South Dakota
Human Trafficking is a problem not just in larger cities. The federal government's top prosecutor in South Dakota says it happens in Sioux Falls and in other parts of the state.
U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson says his office has prosecuted four different cases in the past year. In Johnson's words, "I think one of the most important ways that we can combat human trafficking in this state is to acknowledge that it exists and then educate folks on what to look for. Frankly, human trafficking cases often begin with someone from the public noticing there are a lot of 15-16-17 year old girls going in and out of this house at all hours of the evening. They bring it to our attention and that's how often the investigation begins."
Johnson says federal and state law enforcement are key partners in combating human trafficking, but the community is also important in reporting tips or sharing information with authorities.