Authorities work with truckers to stop human trafficking - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Authorities work with truckers to stop human trafficking

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EVANSDALE (KWWL) - Hundreds of thousands of children are abducted every year. It's called human trafficking, and it is a $32 billion industry.

It happens everywhere, including right here in eastern Iowa.

That's why authorities are putting forth their best efforts to stop this mobile crime in its tracks.

Authorities form Iowa's mobile vehicle enforcement spent the day at the Flying Jay truck stop in Evansdale educating truck drivers on how to stop the crime.

It's part of their program "Truckers against Trafficking."

Drivers unfortunately see sketchy behavior all the time.

"People walking around the parking lot, in the trucks, knocking on truck doors," says driver Marcus Deree. "People going in and out of trailers. When you're at a truck stop, those trailers should be sealed at all times."

The only way sex trafficking can be stopped, they say, is through a team effort.

"There's 3 million truck drivers out there, there's not 3 million of us. They're out there 24/7/365 -- they see a lot more things than we see," says Chief Dave Lorenzen.

It's hard for some to believe this is happening right on their own turf.

"Living in the U.S., you wouldn't think it's that big of a problem. I've lived overseas where it is, but here you wouldn't think it's a big problem," says Deree.

Authorities want truckers to be more comfortable with police presence so crimes can be reported, and traffickers can be stopped.

They say it all begins with a simple conversation.

This is the third time authorities have taken to truck stops to speak with drivers, and they say drivers have been very receptive.

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