Homeland Security officer: human trafficking happens in Amarillo - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Homeland Security officer says human trafficking happens in panhandle

AMARILLO - Human trafficking could be going on in places you visit everyday.

That was the message local authorities wanted to convey in an informational meeting hosted by the League of Women Voters Tuesday evening in Amarillo.

Right now statistics of human trafficking in our area are hard to pinpoint because of unreported incidents, or cases prosecuted on different charges.

But an officer with the Department of Homeland Security says it does happen in our area whether it be passing through on Interstate 40 or actually in our community, and the problems aren't only connected to prostitution.

Victims of human trafficking can be forced to work on ranches and farms, in nail salons, hotels, restaurants, construction sites, or even as nannies in people's homes.

A representative with Family Support Services in Amarillo says she deals with many young women in the panhandle who have a hard time asking for help, because they feel ashamed.

"A lot of times victims are misidentified as criminals because they're arrested for prostitution, for drugs, for things related to the behaviors they've been forced to participate in," Crisis Intervention Specialist Angie Stovall said. "And what's important to know is that these victims don't choose thier lifestyle."

46 percent of human trafficking victims are forced into prostitution. The rest into some sort of forced labor.

If you have any suspicions about anyone in the community, you're asked to contact local authorities or the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • 13 killed in Texas crash between church van, truck

    13 killed in Texas crash between church van, truck

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 7:02 PM EDT2017-03-29 23:02:52 GMT
    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:21 PM EDT2017-03-30 03:21:11 GMT

    The crash happened near Garner State Park, west of San Antonio.  

    The crash happened near Garner State Park, west of San Antonio.  

  • Event held in hopes of preserving Kiowa language

    Event held in hopes of preserving Kiowa language

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:16 PM EDT2017-03-30 03:16:11 GMT
    (Source: KSWO)(Source: KSWO)

    Members of the Kiowa tribe gathered in Cache on Wednesday to promote the importance of learning the Kiowa language and to keep the Kiowa language and culture alive.

    Members of the Kiowa tribe gathered in Cache on Wednesday to promote the importance of learning the Kiowa language and to keep the Kiowa language and culture alive.

  • Activist seeks to purchase internet histories of lawmakers, CEOs

    Activist seeks to purchase internet histories of lawmakers, CEOs

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 6:48 PM EDT2017-03-29 22:48:23 GMT
    Wednesday, March 29 2017 10:52 PM EDT2017-03-30 02:52:25 GMT

    An internet activist has raised nearly $100,000 on a GoFundMe page to purchase the internet histories lawmakers and others who helped pass a resolution that allows broadband and other telecommunications services to sell internet users' private histories. 

    An internet activist has raised nearly $100,000 on a GoFundMe page to o purchase the internet histories lawmakers and others who helped pass a resolution that allows broadband and other telecommunications services to sell internet users' private histories. 

Powered by Frankly