Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)By Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Human trafficking is on the rise, and St. Louis County Police think they know why.

Sgt. Adam Kavanaugh of the special investigations unit says a lot of drug dealers are switching to human trafficking.

“It’s a lot easier, and the product doesn’t go away,” he says. “Once you sell your product, if it’s drugs, it’s gone. You have to re-up that all the time. If you have a girl, you can use her over and over, night after night.”

He says the average pimp is making somewhere around $250,000.

The police also releasing new details on who the victims of human trafficking are. Kavanaugh says they come from near and far.

“A lot of the girls who are coming here into St. Louis County, victimwise, are coming from small towns like Troy, Lincoln County, Warrenton, Joplin, and Springfield, and they’re all coming up here because out there they can’t make as much money.”

Kavanaugh says most girls lured into the prostitution lifestyle are from the city, but there are some in West County.

“In the West County area, in the past we’ve have girls who are involved in these kinds of things,” he says. “And what we’ve found in those areas is that it tends to run along the lines of heroin abuse, more so in the West County area. And everyone knows that’s a big problem there.”

Last year, county police rescued seven prostitutes and put them in transitional homes. They’re looking to increase that number.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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