COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio attorney general’s office says investigations of human trafficking cases rose last year to its highest level since the state began keeping track of those numbers.
The Blade reports authorities investigated 202 human trafficking cases in 2017, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. The report released last week by the state attorney general’s Human Trafficking Commission shows the majority of cases involved the sex trade.
Yet the report shows both the number of arrests and criminal convictions have decreased. There were 70 arrests last year, the lowest number recorded since 2013.
State Attorney General Mike DeWine says the rise in trafficking cases is connected to the state’s opioid addiction crisis.
DeWine says the number of human trafficking convictions is “grossly underreported” because suspects may face other charges.