LMPD makes multiple arrests during human trafficking sting

LMPD makes multiple arrests during human trafficking sting
Patrick Huddleston was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Patrick Huddleston was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Nigel Karl Nicholas was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Nigel Karl Nicholas was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Luc Hoang was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Luc Hoang was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Rene Abay Marganon was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)
Rene Abay Marganon was arrested in the sting. (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The same week "the biggest farm show ever" took place, the Louisville Metro Police Department made one of their biggest human trafficking busts ever.

"During operation Pretty Pink Tractor, we placed an ad on various social media sites with a picture of an undercover police officer," Sgt. Detective Tim Stokes said. "That led to interaction between potential Johns and that officer."

Stokes calls it a victory. A total of 17 men were arrested, all thinking they were going to engage in sexual acts with a minor.

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"During that investigation we also seized almost $2,000 that would have been used to complete the deals that were made, and we also seized two vehicles," Stokes added.

Human trafficking is a crime that involves high stakes. However, that hasn't stopped the traffickers from taking on the task. Commissioner John Moberly from the Department of Criminal Investigations at the Attorney General's office said there has recently been a paradigm shift.

"[Traffickers] have found that there is more quick profit and is actually safer to deal young women and sex than it is to deal drugs," Moberly said.

"It's not that the problem is bigger now but it's that the problem is perhaps brought to our attention at a better place now," Stokes said.

Stokes added their work, and speaking with the victims of those stings are never easy. Especially as a father.

"I don't mean in any way to diminish what the victims have gone through but it's tough even for us," Stokes said. "I think we just have to keep grounded, keep working, keeping doing the right thing. Stay on it, stay on it, stay on it, until we can get this thing eliminated."

He's said he's hoping all this work will pay off one day.

Only recently did the Special Victims Unit take over human trafficking issues. Stokes said they will be embarking on more operations in the near future.

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