May 22, 2007

For Reals!?!?!?

As some of you may already know - a sex trafficking group was busted last weekend right here in Minneapolis. 25 people (19 of which were illegal immigrants) were responsible for running 8 different brothels, mainly focused in Minneapolis, but spread throughout the metro with one brothel in Austin, MN. The two ring-leaders of this operation were a 37 year old woman and a 31 year old man. They would take all identification away from immigrants and force them to be sex slaves. Their operation was so heinous 2 women were responsible for servicing 80 men in one day...and one poor woman was made to have sex with 49 men in a single day! First thought that comes to mind: WTF!!! Seriously! WTF!
Upon reading the article in the Strib, I learned that Minnesota is one of the top states for illegal sex trafficking. Ok, am I a suburbanite ostrich who keeps her head in the sand and doesn't know what the hell is going on around here? Or was this like the BIGGEST kept secret in the metro area??? Its even been reported that the brothels were advertised at Mystic Lake Casino. One (of the many) questions that came to mind is: How do you advertise for something that is SO ILLEGAL? (that opens a whole 'nother can of worms, to be discussed later).
Once all of this amazing information sunk in, I was filled with disgust. I can't think of anything more degrading or emotionally scaring than being forced to have sex...for any reason. I can't imagine what those imigrant women have had to endure. The article attributes the initial discovery of this sex trafficking ring to slain officer Sgt. Vick, who was killed 2 years ago. So for two years (or more) the St. Paul police have been keeping tabs on this operation? Why the St. Paul police? The brothel hub was in Minneapolis and not one of the brothels was actually in St. Paul (the closest one was in my neighboring town of West St. Paul). I understand the investigation took time and the police most likely had to bide their time in order to catch some of the higher-ups in this operation. But 2 years of suffering for those women-made-sex-slaves? That's a long time. What other on-going investigations take years to come to fruition? And what is the delay? I've often heard about mafia investigations taking years and years, so that the entire operation can be shut down, or at least significantly crippled. And I understand why these things take so long, but it makes me sad in my heart to think of how many people suffer during that time. I'm astounded that such an atrocity can take place today, and in such great magnitude no less. It deeply saddens me.

In another can of worms...
How do such operations come about? How does someone have this idea and organize others to go along with it? If I were to organize a mass-crime, I would have no idea who to trust to discuss it with. How to bring it up in conversation. How to pick people that are mean, cruel, or underhand enough to go along with the idea. Who to hand out "advertisements" to. It baffles me that so many people can be organized together to participate in something so wrong. Ok, I could write lots more about this, but it's actually making me sick. What's wrong with people????

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