CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Through a combined effort of multiple agencies and training provided by Truckers Against Trafficking, the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) was able to apprehend a suspect wanted for felony charges of child sexual abuse, according to a statement released by the highway patrol August 4.
On June 18, WHP troopers were notified of a possible victim of human trafficking by officials from the Colorado Port of Entry.
The initial clues were observed by a Colorado Port of Entry officer while inspecting a commercial vehicle. The officer, who recently completed in-depth training provided by Truckers Against Trafficking, became suspicious after observing several human trafficking indicators. The driver allowed the inspecting officer to speak with a female passenger in the truck to check her welfare, and the officer learned she was younger by almost 30 years. The female told the officer she was an out-of-work model, that she was depressed and out of money. The officer asked several times if she felt safe or wanted help, but the passenger declined to give the officer a clear-cut answer.
The driver and passenger’s identifications were checked through the Colorado law-enforcement database and returned with no issues. Because the female did not want to cooperate with the officer and answer questions fully, the officer allowed them to leave.
After they left, however, the officer still believed that “none of it felt or sounded right,” and decided to check the driver’s and passenger’s identification using a national database. The results showed that the driver had an outstanding warrant from Oklahoma for child sexual abuse. This information was immediately relayed to law enforcement in Wyoming.
WHP notified troopers of the vehicle’s description, and law-enforcement officers located the vehicle west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The troopers confirmed that the driver had a warrant for felony child sexual abuse, and he was arrested without incident. Even though the passenger said the driver had not harmed her, she was counseled on early warning signs of someone being groomed for trafficking. The female was transported to a hotel in Cheyenne and provided 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, a spokesperson for WHP said.