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Cooperation, training helps nab man wanted for child sexual abuse

JACKSON, Wyo. — Authorities are crediting extended training and strong communication between multiple law enforcement agencies that led to an arrest of a wanted sexual abuse offender and possible sex trafficker.

Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were notified of a possible victim of human trafficking after an alert port of entry officer in Colorado observed something that did not quite seem right. That officer had recently completed an in-depth training provided by Truckers Against Trafficking. What he learned helped him identify certain red flags during a routine commercial vehicle inspection in June.

The officer became suspicious after observing several human trafficking indicators. The driver allowed the inspecting officer to speak with the female in the truck to check her welfare and learned she was younger by almost 30 years. The female told the officer she was an out-of-work model, depressed, and out of money.

Several times the astute officer asked if the young lady felt safe or wanted help. The female declined but failed to give the officer a clear-cut answer. The driver and passenger’s identifications were checked through the Colorado law enforcement database and returned with no issues. Since the female did not want to cooperate with the officer and answer questions fully, the officer allowed them to leave.

After the truck drove off, the officer continued to be bothered by the encounter.

“None of it felt or sounded right,” he thought to himself.

So, the officer decided to check the identifications through a national database. Bingo! The check came back with an outstanding warrant for the truck driver from Oklahoma for child sexual abuse. The officer immediately notified law enforcement in Wyoming.

Dispatch alerted Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers of the vehicle’s description. Before long, troopers were able to locate the vehicle west of Cheyenne. Troopers made the stop and arrested the driver without incident. Even though the passenger said the driver had not harmed her, she was counseled on early warning signs of someone being groomed for trafficking.

The female was transported to a hotel in Cheyenne and provided a room for the night.

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