(WTNH) — Officials say Connecticut highways are used for sex trafficking all too often.
A woman from China takes a bus from New York, up Interstate 95, Interstate 91 to Windsor Locks, answering an ad for a beautician. Police she say she was forced into modern day slavery in the sex trade until they rescued her.
Another case, bars on the front windows, bars on the side windows. Inside a Hartford apartment building, a teen was held against her will.. Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley says she was sexually assaulted, sold and trafficked for nearly a month.
“We were able to find an exact location of the apartment, make entry and rescue the female from where she was being held. The problem is there were no suspects at the time,” said Foley.
Hartford police later arrested two men, charging them with sexual assault and trafficking. The Trafficking Task Force says it has happened in Hartford, Windsor Locks, Milford, New Haven, Clinton, Darien and dozens of other towns across Connecticut.
Sgt. Richard Alexandre of the Connecticut State Police says human trafficking and teen exploitation can happen anywhere.
“The human trafficking that we have been investigating that we have seen happen is in some of the larger cities and some of our more rural communities,” said Alexandre.
The task force not only investigates cases coming up the interstate highway, but on the information highway as well. Sgt. Alexandre says traffickers use personal ads on websites to sell these exploited teens online.
“Human trafficking as a result of the availability of these websites and the use of these websites the cases are becoming much more prevalent,” said Alexandre.
Many of the cases that police break here in Connecticut are actually referred to by outside agencies from down south, New York or Boston. They also ask the public that if you see anything out of the ordinary, call the tip line or 911.