Friday, June 1, 2012

Sex for sale in Altoona? Cops say no


Do you know what is the second-most lucrative crime in the world, second to drug trafficking? According to several new studies, it’s human trafficking, which includes children (boys and girls), teens and young women and selling them for labor and for sex. The FBI says it’s a $30 billion-a-year industry.

We recently reported the story of a mechanic at the Boss Shop in Altoona, IA (Pilot Flying J) calling the cops on a woman he thought was selling her kindergarten-age daughter for sex at the truck stop. Not happy with the officer’s investigation, which resulted in no arrest, the mechanic made an official complaint to the mayor of Altoona to get a more thorough probe of the incident.

The best original story on this deal goes to the Des Moines Register and reporter Timothy Meinch. I emailed him, checking up on what else he knew about the case.  I had a hunch Meinch would be following this story closely. His readers certainly were.

Yesterday I heard from Meinch, and he provided me with a pretty thorough update. The cops did follow up and interviewed everyone and his brother. And the brother’s dog. The woman turned out to be the wife of a trucker. The child was his daughter. The woman and child were walking around the truck stop while the father was getting his rest in the bunk of the truck. To cut to the chase, the cops could not determine any type of wrongdoing. 

While that tip did not expose a sex trafficking crime, we know it’s happening in truck stops and other places where people travel. The FBI estimates there are currently 200,000-300,000 American children, teens and young women sold into the sex trade every year.

Truckers are the eyes and ears of the open road. If you see this kind of behavior, something that doesn’t look right – don’t deny your gut instinct. Report it.

No doubt about it. The mechanic at the Boss Shop must be commended, no matter what the investigation revealed. He saw something that disturbed him and had all the appearances – in his mind – of something that smelled funny. Security professionals call that a DLR – doesn’t look right. And he correctly notified the authorities – in fact, he pushed them – and they followed up.

If you witness actions that cause you to suspect trafficking is going on, call the cops. Or call the National Hotline for Truckers Against Trafficking at 888-373-7888.

5 comments:

  1. Just last week, right over the State line in Nebraska, authorities arrested a mother for trafficking her 7 yr old and 14 yr old daughters for sex.

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  2. No, the mechanic shouldn't be commended. This country is spiraling Down the drain into a Nazi like police state. Did you know that one of the tools most totalitarian regimes use is to get citizens to spy on each other? Increasingly, the people of this country are suspicios of one another and too much in everyone else's business. WAKE UP!

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  3. Of course all this was determined days after the fact. I too have seen "DLR's" in my case a small TS outside of Dallas TX. A white passenger van pulled up and dropped off 5 or 6 young looking Asian girls, who immediately started knocking on doors, including mine, offering sex. The one at my door had an accent that was difficult to understand. I asked if she needed help, she left and went to the next truck and the next and the next, met up with another girl and both went back to the van, by this time I had called 911 After about 10 minutes the rest of the girls drifted back got in the van which then left. It went across the street to another TS. I never saw it again and I never saw any Cops either. I don't think the administration care about "victimless crimes" they get more revenue from traffic tickets and more hassles from felonies. It's just easier to ignore them.

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  4. Better to react and not be needed than to let something go unreported!!

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  5. Thanks for the followup. If the cops would have have just done this right away and kept in contact with the complainant then it wouldn't have appeared as if they weren't doing their job.

    Thanks for doing yours!

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