New division to handle sex and labor trafficking crimes

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation and a local law enforcement agency is putting up more resources to fight it.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has created a new division that will strictly handle sex and labor trafficking issues.

Detective Melanie Phelps will head the operation. While she didn’t want her face to be shown since she goes undercover frequently, she told 2 NEWS Investigates it is a problem that is going on right here in the Miami Valley.

Detective Phelps will spend her time conducting prostitution stings on the street and online.

Her goal is educate the community to this dangerous issue and help the young woman who fall victim to the crime.

“You don’t want this to become an epidemic before you start working on it. The sooner communities get involved and get educated about it, the easier it is to stop kids from getting involved in this. It’s easier to stop something than it is to reverse it,” said Detective Phelps.

One of Detective Phelps’ first moves in her new position was to create a local help hotline.

She encourages anyone with tips relating to sex or labor trafficking to contact it at 937-384-2462. You can also email them to humantrafficking@mcohiosheriff.org

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