August 15, 2019
Sex trafficking is a major concern in southern Utah. Due to its proximity to major cities and its moderate climate, the area is ideal for traffickers’ primary targets, such as the homeless and runaways. Traffickers watch malls, parks, and schools to find their victims, then enslave them by getting the victims addicted to drugs.
Law enforcement say that rotations happen every 7 to 8 months. Young women are trafficked from Las Vegas to St. George, Salt Lake City, Washington state, California, and then back.
“They [traffickers] think they can make money in St. George at any given time. They’ll send those young women up here, and they use narcotics to keep a rope around the women to control them,” said Leo Lucy, Chief of Investigations at the Utah Attorney General’s Office, during an interview with ABC 4 News.
Law enforcement is actively investigating human trafficking, and conduct sting operations several times a year.
To report tips regarding human trafficking, please contact the Utah Attorney General’s Office:
- Utah Human Trafficking Tipline: 801-200-3443
- Internet Crimes Against Children Tipline: 801-281-1211