Interstate 65 a route for human traffickers

With Interstate 65 comes traffic and commerce.

But the highway — which stretches 261 miles across Indiana — also is a route for items and people exchanged on the black market, including victims of human trafficking who are sold into prostitution and deposited in Lafayette due to the city's proximity to Indianapolis and Chicago.

This illegal activity is typically hidden from the public eye — facilitated through secret websites and carried out at hotels tucked away near the interstate. While responding to a disturbance last week, however, Lafayette police officers stumbled upon a potential human trafficking victim and, after further investigation, uncovered a suspected prostitution ring spearheaded by two men.

Due to the mobile nature of society — and the prevalence of the "dark side" of the Internet — authorities said this week that such crimes can be arranged and perpetrated in the smallest of communities. Lafayette is not immune.

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