Human sex trafficking is happening right here in South Dakota.
Nearly 100 people turned out to hear speakers teach about human trafficking and raise awareness about the problem in our area.
Tess Franzen, director of the Human Rights Division of Family Heritage Alliance, says human trafficking is the commercial exploitation of individuals for sex or labor through force or fraud.
According to Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo, one warning sign is an adult who is involved in the life of a troubled teen or young adult that you can't really explain.
He says suspicious activity should be reported immediately. "Really you call 911. If you don't know anything about it you can call the investigations bureau at the police department, or DCi, or even the FBI," said Vargo. "All of these are cooperatives partners in fighting sex trafficking and any report is better than no report."
Speakers included Brendan Johnson, the United States attorney for South Dakota, Brent Gromer, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and Hollie Strand, a forensic interviewer for the Child Advocacy Center of the Black Hills.