ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a third Fun Noodle Bar employee was arrested on human trafficking charges, the community wants to know: How prevalent is human trafficking in Abilene?
“It is everywhere, it’s prevalent everywhere and we have to be on the lookout for it,” explained Abilene Police Department’s (APD) Sergeant Joshua Davis.
Sgt. Davis is a part of APD’s Special Investigations, Cyber Crimes & Youth Division, and said anyone could fall victim to this tragedy.
“It’s not always something that happens in plain sight. It’s not always obvious of what’s going on,” Sgt. Davis expanded. “There’s certain stereotypes that may be followed, but it can be pretty much anybody that can be involved. Both the victim or the suspect.”
The term human trafficking is much deeper than some people realize and covers a variety of incidents.
“It covers a broad area. Sex trafficking, labor trafficking, sexual assaults of minors where they are coerced into meeting up with older men. It kind of covers that whole area,” said Sgt. Davis.
Sgt. Davis described the many components of human trafficking, and for Abilene, one of those is border proximity.
“We have to remember we’re on the border of Mexico. We have seen several cases here recently involving illegal immigrants, both as suspects and victims,” Sgt. Davis included.
The Special Investigations, Cyber Crimes & Youth Division told KTAB/KRBC it has seen modern-age technology and the internet used as a repeated tool during investigations.
“That just opens up a whole new world with the internet being involved,” added Sgt. Davis. “There’s always ways that we can improve to recognize and investigative techniques, and we are working on that to bring other resources into Abilene in partnership with our state partners.”
While Sgt. Davis said he is confident in his team, as crime evolves, authorities have to adapt to better solve those crimes.