New Louisiana task force to fight human trafficking

January 30, 2022 GMT

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Officials in a southwest Louisiana parish have announced a new task force to fight human trafficking.

“No town is immune to human trafficking or sex trafficking,” Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Thursday in a news release announcing formation of the SWLA Human Trafficking Task Force.

It’s made up of federal, state, Calcasieu Parish and Lake Charles law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as social service agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Mancuso said the group’s mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute people responsible for human trafficking while providing quality social services to victims. The agencies and organizations in the task force want to make sure people in the area know how to identify victims. They also want victims to know about all the help available.

“If our community is properly educated, then we can put a stop to this awful crime happening in our community, and these victims will gain their freedom back,” said Calcasieu District Attorney Stephen Dwight.

The task force invited local service agencies and nonprofits that want to be involved to email