Alamance County authorities crack down on human trafficking

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- The Alamance County sheriff is cracking down on human trafficking, prostitution and other sex-related crimes.

During a Monday morning news conference, Sheriff Terry Johnson discussed how prostitution is a huge problem in the county.

Over the span of two days, the Alamance County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies conducted what they called "Operation End of Summer," which is a sting operation where undercover officers were involved.

The operation that lasted from Sept. 18-19th.

Twenty-eight men and women from the Triad to the Triangle were arrested and charged with prostitution or soliciting prostitution.

"Sex trafficking is straight-up pimping," Johnson said.

He believes major thoroughfares such as Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 play a role in the human-trafficking and prostitution problem connecting people to and from larger cities.

"Here in Alamance County, it's a tremendous problem which creates other crimes and helps enhance the human-trafficking industry," Johnson said

Prostitution is only a misdemeanor, however, Johnson wants to be more strict on offenders.

"We are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books and I would love to see the laws involving prostitution, especially soliciting prostitutes, become a felony in this state and in this nation," Johnson said. "If we can curb the demand we can certainly curb the supply."

Many of the offenders were either self-employed, truck drivers or either worked in the construction industry.

In Alamance County, there's a diversion program called Crossroads to help first-time prostitution offenders.

Johnson says more resources are needed for victims and people who are ready to leave that lifestyle.

"We need more resources to be able to give to these if they’re human trafficking victims where they can get back on their feet and be viable back in our society," Johnson said.

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