Thank god this state trooper was quick to react.
A 15-year-old girl has a lot to be thankful for after she was rescued from a s*x trafficker. It was all thanks to an Ohio State Trooper who decided a routine traffic stop was everything but routine.
Officer Mitch Ross pulled over a vehicle in Lucas County, Ohio after noticing that the driver did not yield at a flashing light. After approaching the car, Officer Ross saw the driver and another person inside, as well as the young girl. The driver, identified as Juan Carlos Morales-Pedraza, did not speak English. Neither did his passenger. So Officer Ross had to call a translator.
The officer said he felt suspicious from the very beginning, and the translator agreed. A dash cam video captured the conversation between the two.
“I’d hate to release her to a dude that’s 35 and her not be 18,” Officer Ross said.
Eventually, the officer and translator spoke to the teen alone. That is when she told them she was only 15 years old and had been abducted and se*ually assaulted. The teen was from New Jersey and said Morales-Pedraza took her from her home. She believed he was taking her to a s*x trafficking ring in Chicago.
That one traffic stop sealed Morales-Pedraza’s fate. He is in prison on rape and trafficking charges. Thankfully, the 15-year-old victim received medical care and is now back home where she belongs.
S*x trafficking is a huge problem nationwide, especially in states with several major highways. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were nearly 9,000 reports of human trafficking in 2017. But experts say that number was likely higher because many instances go unreported.
This story had a happy ending. But there are so many other victims across the nation. If you think you’ve ever witnessed what could be a trafficking case, call your local authorities. You can also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888. Be sure to pass this story along to your friends. It could help save a victim’s life.