Sex Trafficking Investigation




Reid, John E.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Sex trafficking and domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) are not new problems for law enforcement agencies, but in recent years, technology has made trafficking more profitable and less risky of arrest than most crimes. The arrests and convictions for trafficking crimes are relatively low (Aronowitz, 2009). This is partially due to the lack of attention by investigating agencies. Every agency has budgetary restrictions as well as official and unofficial priorities in their investigations units. Many times an uncooperative victim, let alone a hostile victim, means a quick closure of a case, cases often classified as cleared by exception. Sex trafficking victims are often very difficult and view law enforcement as the enemy. In addition to the difficulty of the victims, evidence in these cases tends to be obscure and somewhat difficult to obtain, making trafficking cases less than appealing to the average investigator. Although sex trafficking investigations are difficult, law enforcement agencies are the best tool society has to identify its victims. These victims’ physical, mental, and emotional recovery require the assistance from both governmental and non-governmental entities. Law enforcement is also needed in its traditional role to identify the offenders who need to be brought to justice. Sex trafficking cases present unique challenges that require uniquely trained investigators to be successful; for that reason, each law enforcement agency should invest in training their personnel to competently investigate instances of sex trafficking.


Human Trafficking, Human Trafficking Victims, Prostitution