It may be a reality that is hard to accept, but South Dakota is quickly becoming a state with a significant human trafficking issue.
"I believe from our experience with sex trafficking, it's a lot more pervasive than we would want to know or want to believe, even in South Dakota," DCI Director Bryan Gortmaker said.
South Dakota has an investigative team specifically designated to look into the many ways that human trafficking is happening in the state, but easily the most popular is through the Internet and sites like backpage.com.
"Through things like Craigslist and Backpage, people realize that if they know how to navigate these certain things and if you went to look for this type of illegal activity, you can find it," Gortmaker said.
According to members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, backpage.com is the site that offers their biggest concerns. The original intention of the site is legitimate, another place where people could buy and sell items quickly and efficiently. Now, people are using the site for illegal activities like prostitution.
Even though these things are taking place, law enforcement is watching and waiting for their opportunity to end this threat for good.
"We are out there. We are out there, and we hope to find the perpetrator before he finds another child in our community," Gortmaker said.