By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Highway Patrol is crediting an Oklahoma nonprofit organization for helping troopers make an arrest in a felony child sex abuse case.
According to a release posted to the department’s Facebook page, on June 18, WHP troopers were notified of a possible victim of human trafficking coming into the state.
The signs were initially observed by a Colorado Port of Entry officer while inspecting a commercial vehicle. The officer recently completed training provided by Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization that provides training on how to spot signs of trafficking.
The officer became suspicious after observing several human trafficking indicators. The driver allowed the inspecting officer to speak with the female passenger in the truck and learned she was younger than the driver by nearly 30 years.
The woman told the officer she was an out-of-work model, depressed and out of money. The officer asked the woman several times if she felt safe or wanted help, to which she declined to give a clear answer.
The driver’s and passenger’s identifications were checked through the Colorado law enforcement database, but no problems were revealed.
Since the woman didn’t cooperate with the officer, officers allowed the two to leave. But after the woman and driver left, the officer decided to check their identifications through a national database.
The officer found out the driver had an outstanding warrant from Oklahoma for child sexual abuse and notified the Wyoming Highway Patrol. WHP notified troopers of the vehicle description.
Troopers located the vehicle west of Cheyenne and confirmed the driver had a warrant for felony child sexual abuse. He was arrested without incident.
The passenger said the driver hadn’t harmed her, but she was counseled on the early warning signs of being groomed for trafficking. She was taken to a Cheyenne hotel and was given a room for the night.
“This is one more story that was able to end well due to multiple agencies working together to make sure victims of human trafficking are rescued, and offenders are held accountable,” the release said.