AG Ken Paxton launches unit to battle human trafficking

Ken Paxton. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Ken Paxton. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Human trafficking is not just an international issue, it can happen anywhere, even right here in Austin.

Texas is now launching its first human trafficking unit. State Attorney General Ken Paxton made the announcement today in the KXAN studio during an exclusive interview.

According to Paxton, one of the biggest problems is that people are unaware of the human trafficking that goes on in their own neighborhoods. He said the unit will investigate trafficking crimes so that they can prosecute and prevent them from happening in the future.

“If we can educate people in Texas then we can prevent it and we can stop it,” said Paxton.

GOING IN-DEPTH: Texas trafficking stats

Total cases of human trafficking
2,157

Total victims of human trafficking
2,454

Types of trafficking    
254 cases of sex trafficking
55 cases of labor trafficking

Top venues for sex trafficking    
37 cases at commercial-front brothels               32 cases at hotels/motels
(Numbers from Trafficking Resource Center)

The unit will coordinate state-wide with police and officials to raise awareness about this growing problem. Paxton said the unit will be involved at every possible level to eliminate this issue in Texas.

Human trafficking happens in every city in Texas, said Paxton. It is usually an underground crime that people are not focusing on, even thought it is affecting a lot of Texas children.

LEGAL BATTLE

Also during his interview with KXAN, Paxton discussed his current legal battle for security fraud charges.

I’m innocent and so we’ll continue to fight that battle and continue to do my job every day that’s what I was elected to do,” said Paxton.

When asked how he is dealing with the critics discussing his legal battle for his criminal charges Paxton said he will keep fighting.

“I don’t plan on stepping down, we’re going to win this case and move forward,” said Paxton.

FANTASY FOOTBALL

Is fantasy football considered gambling? This is a question many states are trying to answer. Ken Paxton said his office is working to release their opinion, but that he can not comment at this time.

However, Paxton said he does enjoy fantasy sports, but hasn’t had time to play since being elected.

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