Police say men used website in human trafficking case

Police say men used website in human trafficking case

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An investigation continues after two men were arrested and charged with human trafficking early Friday morning.

Officials with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said this case began with a report of a missing juvenile in the area.

Police are not releasing the name of that missing juvenile at this time out of respect for the victim and the victim's family.

However, MBPD Lt. Joey Crosby said that as police began searching for the missing child, they learned of a post on a website called Backpage that revealed information about the juvenile.

"Human trafficking is a very serious situation in which the offenders will use social media, websites and other activities to try to solicit their victims," Crosby said.

After finding the post on Backpage, investigators determined the victim was being coerced into sexual acts, according to Crosby.

On Friday morning, Willie Lacy, 26, and David Ward, 24, both of Greensboro, N.C., were arrested and charged with human trafficking of that juvenile.

Crosby said when it comes to identifying human trafficking via the internet, there are specific things to look out for.

"Be very mindful of what your kids are doing on the internet. Be very mindful of what social media platforms they are on, be very mindful of what they're posting and where they're visiting," he said.

Aside from the internet, Crosby urged the public to look out for suspicious activity in their day-to-day lives.

"As you're interacting with people, it could simply be someone in a grocery store that's having a conversation and you hear them maybe controlling someone's driver's license or passport. It could be anywhere," he said.

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