TRUMBULL COUNTY, Ohio -
Authorities call human trafficking one of the most destructive and lucrative crimes there is. In Ohio, the State Highway Patrol is enlisting the help of the trucking industry to raise awareness and combat the problem.
The highway patrol is making human trafficking a priority because statistics show that it's a real and growing problem in which criminals control and exploit others, including children, for huge profits.
"It has gone from $32-billion a year in 2010, to 2015 it has grown to $150-billion a year," said Sergeant Alan Ogden of the State Patrol in Trumbull county.
The most recent report shows nearly 600 potential human trafficking cases reported in Ohio, making it the fifth highest among all states.
Now, the patrol is taking steps to make truckers aware of what signs to look for to help rescue potential victims. "Sex trafficking rings have been broken up as a result of just truck drivers themselves recognizing the signs," Sergeant Ogden said.