LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An ongoing investigation by Kentucky State Police into human trafficking has led to the arrest of a Columbia, Kentucky man in Taylor County. Investigators say 27-year-old Adulfo DeAquino Cancino used young girls in a prostitution ring.
"Mr. Cancino was charged with human trafficking and unlawful transaction with a minor," said KSP Trooper Andy Olson, a Public Affairs Officer with Post 15 in Columbia.
Cancino, an undocumented alien is behind bars for using girls under the age of 16 for prostitution.
"As of now, Mr. Cancino has been charged in Taylor County," Olson said, "however, we do believe that it is possible that these events occurred in several of the surrounding counties in the Post 15 district."
Several weeks ago KSP detectives got a complaint that at least two young girls were involved in the prostitution ring. But unlike a recent federal case where women were brought to Kentucky from Mexico, police say that's not the case in the Taylor County incident. Olson said all of the juveniles were local.
Marissa Castellano, a counselor who works with Kentucky Rescue and Restore, a group that helps victims of human trafficking, told WAVE 3 News that she's seen more than 50 cases in the Commonwealth.
"We've seen that this is happening in large and small communities in Kentucky, so Kentucky is not exempt from the problem," said Castellano.
Police in Louisville have also been dealing with similar investigations. Last year, they began a trafficking and prostitution investigation at a home in Jeffersontown and another one in Newburg.
As for Cancino, police made the arrest at his home Thursday in neighboring Columbia, but they aren't revealing much else. However, they do say more victims and arrests could be coming.
In court records, the Central Kentucky News Journal found out Cancino allegedly committed the crimes between November 1 and the end of December 2011. Those records also show that one of the girls is 15-years-old.
State Representative Sannie Overly (D-District 72) is working on legislation to help Kentucky become a Safe Harbor state. Right now, child prostitutes in the Commonwealth can be charged with a crime instead of being treated as victims.
Overly expects to introduce the bill in early February.