Intensifying efforts to combat human trafficking, authorities Wednesday announced a new task force - funded by a $1.3 million federal grant - to sharpen the focus on "a wretched crime" that makes sex slaves of vulnerable adults and children.
Philly law enforcement agencies unveil human-trafficking task force
"It's a global problem with local impact," Homeland Security Investigations deputy special agent in charge Brian Michael said at a news conference describing the effort.
"The big issue here is to detect it. We know it's out there, and we're tired of just stumbling upon it," said James Carpenter, head of the family violence and sexual assault unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.
Carpenter cited the case of Linda Weston, serving life in prison for forcing into prostitution or imprisoning in her Tacony basement mentally ill victims so she could steal their benefits.