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

Posted: Updated:

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 NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • LPD investigating west side shooting Friday morning

    LPD investigating west side shooting Friday morning

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:40 AM EDT2014-04-18 09:40:59 GMT
    Lawton- Breaking news happening at this hour, Lawton police tell us they're investigating a shooting right now on the city's west side. Officers have been at 78th and Northwest Welco since around 2:30
    Breaking news happening at this hour, Lawton police tell us they're investigating a shooting right now on the city's west side.
  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:58 AM EDT2014-04-18 08:58:29 GMT
    What a nice end to the work week with sunshine, south winds and temperatures ranging through the 70s and even some low 80s out near the Texas panhandle.  For this evening expect temperatures to fall through
    Rain Chances Gradually Return this Easter Weekend.
  • UPDATE: Murder suspect transferred to Oklahoma County jail

    UPDATE: Murder suspect transferred to Oklahoma County jail

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:34 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:34:02 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._ Quentin Goodwin was transferred to a jail in Oklahoma County from the Comanche County Detention Center Thursday.  Goodwin was arrested Wednesday in Lawton after being charged, along with
    Quentin Goodwin was transferred to a jail in Oklahoma County from the Comanche County Detention Center Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.