Local, federal and state law enforcement officers targeted potential human traffickers ahead of this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race.
The Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office said law enforcement teams engaged with more than 15 potential human trafficking victims and gathered information on potential traffickers.
Deputies said 11 victims have cooperated and agreed to provide details on their situations to law enforcement. Several victims were paired with service representatives who can help the victims rebuild their lives through access to housing, medical care, legal assistance, transportation and more, officials said.
Participating investigative agencies in the investigation included Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, the York County Sheriff’s Office and the Rock Hill Police Department.
An FBI victim specialist and nonprofit organizations, A21, Present Age Ministries and My Safe Haven provided victim services, according to officials.
“Criminals often capitalize on large, special events to conduct illicit activity, including the trafficking of human beings,” said John Eisert, acting special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charlotte. “HSI conducts victim-centered trafficking investigations where the rescue and stabilization of victims is just as important as the prosecution of traffickers.”