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August 08, 2014 02:20 PM

US Attorneys Holding Human Trafficking Conference

fargo, nd

The top federal prosecutors in the Dakotas say that not enough people in the two states are getting the message about the threat of human trafficking and related crimes.

U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson from South Dakota and U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon from North Dakota are sponsoring a three-day conference next week in hopes of raising awareness of the issue.

Johnson says many people believe human trafficking originates overseas and don't realize there are homegrown victims. He says his office has indicted 20 people in the last four years on human trafficking charges.

Purdon points to a single weekend in Dickinson, North Dakota, when 11 men were arrested when they believed they were going to have sex with teen girls. He says that shows there's a market for human traffickers.

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