Memphis is considered a model nationally for its initiative to maximize prison stints for sex traffickers, U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton tells the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Stanton created a three-prosecutor Civil Rights Unit, to handle the crimes. “Human trafficking is nothing more than modern-day slavery. The victims often are some of our most vulnerable,” he says.
Traffickers frequently target girls and women from poor families or those who were sexually abused, runaways, and minors in the state foster-care system. They advertise on the Internet and take the women and girls to truck stops and major sporting events. “It’s a high-priority issue right now with the FBI and Department of Justice overall,” said FBI agent Jeremy Baker, who oversees the public corruption/civil rights squad. “And that involves investigating and trying to make the public more aware to develop leads and better assist victims.”