Joplin police find 7 trafficking victims in massage raids
JOPLIN, Mo. – Joplin police say they identified seven adult women as human-trafficking victims during raids on three Joplin massage businesses.
The three businesses were searched Thursday as part of a human-trafficking investigation.
The Joplin Globe reports that the women were taken to service organizations. No arrests were made Thursday.
Including the businesses searched this week, law enforcement officers have searched six Joplin massage operations in about a year.
In January 2017, Joplin officers and FBI agents searched three establishments, and all three were then closed.
The raids done Thursday involved only the Joplin Police Department.
All six of the targeted businesses advertised on Backpage.com, an online classified advertising website that has come under scrutiny of law enforcement and lawmakers for allegedly facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking.