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The girls are recruited at a young age because the traffickers can control them, Kersten said. they (the pimps) know about their families and will threaten them.” Official Efforts In June 2015, Bellingham police conducted a sting in which six men were arrested.Undercover officers posted an ad on with a phone number, a photo of a woman’s backside and a short blurb from a 34-year-old woman “looking to please,” according to the Bellingham Police Department.Within about 30 seconds, a female undercover officer’s phone started ringing, Lt. “She had so many people calling that she couldn’t even field them all,” Johnston said.“She forgot to turn the phone off, and it kept ringing through the night.” The Skagit Multi-Agency Response Team is a coordinated effort to combat online human trafficking.It’s becoming clear that human trafficking is not only alive and flourishing in Whatcom and Skagit counties, it’s growing thanks to the advent of online trafficking.It isn’t just foreign women being transported over the Canadian border for sex purposes, although that does occur.In the case of the 13-year-old, she was disinterested in school, looking for an older man and willing.But for the 9-year-old, she was a victim of human trafficking and, surprisingly, was the most sought after of the two.
Only about 3 percent of those trafficked ever get out of the sex trade, she said.
“The I-5 corridor is one of the largest sex-trafficking areas in the world, Vancouver to Los Angeles,” she said. State Department report, the United States has become the second most-trafficked country in the world, and sex trafficking has become a billion-dollar-a-year industry.
“It will blow your mind there’s so much activity.” Stats Human sex trafficking is an exploding growth industry all across the United States. Kelsey Bishop, a researcher at Middle Tennessee State University, cites studies indicating that human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern slavery, amounting to the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world.
Its first operation in 2014 had SMART investigators posing as minors similar to those they had come into contact with in previous cases.
One posed as a 13-year-old girl, and the other as a 9-year-old girl. Chris Cammock of the Mount Vernon Police Department said the minors were based on girls the police had rescued previously.