SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The feds are waging an aggressive campaign to root out the illicit sex trade lurking in this seemingly unlikely locale: low-crime South Dakota.
In recent years, federal authorities have pursued about 50 sex trafficking cases. Bolstered by state and local authorities, they’re also getting support from Native American tribes, church groups and the Junior League.
The cases have ranged from predator stings at the last three Sturgis motorcycle rallies to busts of lucrative businesses that have transported girls to cities around the Midwest.
Jenise Pischel is program coordinator at Our Home Inc., a private non-profit that has helped trafficked girls. She says she think traffickers see trusting South Dakota as a good place to operate and not get caught.
But, she says “...we seem to be catching an awful lot of them.”