PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - While final preparations are being made ahead of Super Bowl XLVI, law enforcement from Florida and elsewhere is honing in on the potential for a spike in child sex trafficking. The federal government reports that Florida is among the top states where the ugly trade can originate.
Human trafficking is a crisis that unfolds in this country year-round, but when thousands of people converge on one area at one time, it can create a breeding ground for criminal activity, some of which comes from Florida.
Some in law enforcement are setting their sights away from the bright lights of the game and on to the potential for human sex trafficking.
Jeff Goldberg is part of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches and said there is a much darker side to the excitement the Super Bowl can bring.
"Basically, it's modern day slavery," he said. "Human traffickers and those involved in the sex industry will go to that area because they know people are there, they're going to spend money," said Goldberg.
New York, California and Florida are the top three states where the practice of human trafficking can originate, according the federal statistics.
"The sex trade in children is alive and most people turn a blind eye to it," said Sandy Skelaney, who heads up Kristi House in Miami, an organization dedicated to helping child victims of sex abuse.
South Florida, Skelaney said, can be the gateway for illegal activity states away.
"They have traffickers or pimps that will transport them down here or to a city where there is an event such as a Super Bowl," she said.
Human trafficking is not only happening during events like the Super Bowl, experts say, but all over the country every day.
"Wherever the demand is, that's where the supply is going to be," said Goldberg.
For more information on the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches, click here .