One of the biggest cases of human trafficking in our area ends Monday with a sentencing in federal court.
Dozens of women and girls from the most desperate of circumstances were lured into sex work by a Topeka man, according to the FBI.
The ring was being partially run out of night club in Lawrence, Kansas.
“I think that most people don’t believe it’s happening in our smaller areas. They think it’s just a big city problem and it’s actually found everywhere,” says FBI Special Agent Amy Ramsey, who supervises the human trafficking squad in the Kansas City field office.
The numbers are disturbing.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline, which works with federal and local law enforcement, says so far this year almost 4,500 cases of trafficking have been reported.
That number has steadily risen since 2012.
That’s also true in Kansas, where cases have doubled in the last five years, reaching 54 in 2016. In Missouri there were 48 cases in 2012. Last year, that number jumped to 135.