SD Attorney General discusses human trafficking & the Rally
Last week we introduced you to the woman who started the West River Human Trafficking Task Force, an organization that helps victims and survivors of human trafficking and works to put it to an end.
The State of South Dakota also plays a big role when it comes to human trafficking.
Jackley says, "We found over the years that during our operations, that there are folks that come, often times from out of state, to prey on young children. And, it's an opportunity for us to better protect children, to be proactive, and that's why we do everything we can during these rally operations to protect kids and to pull some of the sexual predators off our streets."
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says whenever you have a large group of people that come together, such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, there's always a handful of bad.
That's why he says they run human trafficking operations, where they put out advertisements pretending to sell young children.
And unfortunately, hundreds of people respond.
Marty Jackley says, "When folks respond, then we react, and the goal is again to take as many of those sexual predators off our streets, so that they're actually meeting a law enforcement officer rather than a young child."
Jackley says the number of people who respond to their advertisements is concerning, which is why it's important to run the operations.
He says since the operations began in February of 2013, 47 arrests with convictions have been made.
And although human trafficking is a problem worldwide, Jackley says they particularly like to focus on the rally when it comes to town.
Jackley says, "Right now, this area is the largest town in our state. There's hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people that come in, most of them have come in to enjoy the rally, it's a big economic boom to tourism across our state, but again there's just a few people that have bad intentions and our job is to root them out and take care of it."
Jackley says their main focus is on children under 16 years old.