WEST PALM BEACH, Fla - Palm Beach County pastor Mark Boykin says human trafficking is a problem within the county.
Citing a local newspaper report, Boykin says stricter guidelines should be used by the state when issuing licenses to clubs that could possibly solicit human trafficking.
Boykin is asking Florida Governor Charlie Crist, the Palm Beach County Sherrif's Office, and the Palm Beach County Inspector General to step up efforts in investigating human trafficking.
"We want to send a strong signal. This will not be allowed in Palm Beach County. We are going to clean up this county and if it means having a press conference every day or waiving signs on the streets, we will do that," said Boykin
Boykin joined members of the group Women Against Exploiting Women for a news conference Thursday afternoon at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
Boykin cites the newspaper story which says two women were unknowingly forced into the sex trade at several clubs, including the El Rancho Sports Bar and Restaurant in West Palm Beach.
The FBI says it can't comment on that case.
The FBI will say that just because human trafficking investigations aren't grabbing headlines, that doesn't mean they're not happening.
An FBI spokeswoman said there are open trafficking cases in this area, but talking about them publicly could hurt the investigation.
"Women Against Exploiting Women" also called for action.
Group president April Camacho said, "It's very unthinkable. I'm a mom, I'm a grandmother and I could never even think of my children being forced into that, you know?"
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company
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