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Missouri and Illinois on the Lookout for Human Trafficking

Tanya Sinkovits
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis is applying to be part of a pilot program to deal with human trafficking cases. A crime that has U.S. Attorney’s on both sides of the Mississippi river on edge.

An Ellisville man is the latest person to be sentenced for his role in a human trafficking scheme. That man received five years in federal prison for the scheme based in Kansas City, Missouri.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan in St. Louis says his office recently prosecuted a case in Cape Girardeau of a Chinese restaurant owner who exploited Mexican and Chinese illegal immigrants.

Exploiting or abusing temporary work visas is a “hidden crime,” according to Steve Wiggington the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. He says his office always questions possible human trafficking when an immigrate is taken in to custody.

“Whenever we have an immigration case here in the southern District of Illinois we always take it a step further to see if any of those illegal immigrants could be the possible victim of a human trafficking ring,” Wigginton said.

So far, Wiggington’s team has investigated leads, but luckily found no human trafficking cases within his district.


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