Yes, I’m still a little salty about how some people view human trafficking. It seems you either have the lemmings who think trafficking is done by the ‘Deep State’ or you have the people who ignore it entirely. Meanwhile, it’s actually going on all around us.
For example, two suspects were recently arrested in Pender County, North Carolina on human trafficking charges. Pender County is not too far from Wilmington. The first man arrested was 19-year-old Dwayne Poole Jackson. He’s accused of forcibly trafficking an 18-year-old female on the website SkipTheGames. That’s one of the websites that has tried to fill the void left by the federal seizure of Backpage. At the time of his arrest, Poole was said to be found hiding in an attic in Wilmington. The second suspect arrested by Pender County authorities was 21-year-old Demond Conyers.
From the information that I’ve read, it’s unclear what Conyers’ alleged role was or even if he was working with Jackson.
However, I want to focus on Jackson at the moment. He looks like a pretty clean-cut white boy in his Polo shirt. He looks like he’d offer to mow your lawn or shovel snow from your driveway. Instead, he’s allegedly turning out someone’s daughter on the internet. Considering that Pender County is predominantly white, it’s pretty safe to assume that he was probably turning out a white girl. What I’m getting at is that Jackson isn’t your average picture of what a lot of Americans think of when they hear the word pimp. He’s not your gold tooth having, wide-brimmed hat-wearing, cane carrying picture of a pimp. Yet, here we are.
The other thing I’d like to draw to your attention is a couple of quotes from people in the know. The first is from Pender County District Attorney Ben David.
“This is something that lives in plain sight.,” District Attorney Ben David said. “They frequently meet their abuser online. The two most common sites that we’ve seen in our caseload are Facebook and Snapchat.”
Dawn Ferrer, the Program Director of A Safe Place, tells us just how traffickers will target your children.
“The younger generation is always on their phones, so their whole world ends up being whatever that social media is, and pimps know that,” Ferrer said. “Traffickers know that.”
Ferrer says traffickers typically prey on vulnerable young women and teens, and even those with special needs.
“They know who to prey on,” Ferrer said. “They read posts that people put out just to kind of target those who have low self-esteem, problems at home, those types of things, and then they zoom in and they want to build that romantic relationship with them.”
“Young people know more about computers than you do, but less about life, so talk to them about the dangers that are out there,” he said. “The great majority of human trafficking victims that we encounter in our caseloads, they don’t have a great support network.”
Do you get it now? It’s happening everywhere. Not just in the cities. It’s happening in suburbia and probably in your little corner of the world where you think ‘it couldn’t possibly be happening here’ or ‘that happens to other people’. Well, it is and it could happen in your home if you’re not careful.