Human trafficking problem is growing in Texoma - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Human trafficking problem is growing in Texoma

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SHERMAN, Texas -- According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the state of Texas ranks second nationally for human smuggling and trafficking, with 670 reported cases in 2016.

In just the last 60 days, 255 people have been rescued, detained or recovered from smuggling operations near Laredo, Texas.

The Grayson County Crisis Center has worked on four cases of human trafficking so far this year. Officials said this problem is only growing, and the numbers continue to rise.

One of the main problems crisis center executive director Shelli Shields sees is that victims often don't even know where they are when they try to find help.

"A lot of the human trafficking victims that we've seen can't answer those general questions about the area that they're in, or 'How would you get back to your home?'" Shields said. "There's no idea if they're in the north or south, no state... so a lot of times the isolation is very high."

And trafficking cases in Texoma are expected to grow.

"We're definitely seeing numbers in crease that we can really pinpoint to human trafficking," Shields said.

She adds that most of the cases that the Grayson County Crisis Center investigates come from people in the community being aware, and reaching out if they notice anything suspicious.

The crisis center hotline number is 903-893-5615.

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