There's a new task force in Montgomery County designed to stop human trafficking, announced today by County Executive Ike Leggett.
If residents don't think there is a problem with human trafficking in Montgomery County, Police Chief Thomas Manger says think again. The cases are becoming more widespread but also harder to spot.
First, there are allegations a Kenyan diplomat enticed a 23-year-old woman to the U.S. to be a nanny at her Rockville home, but forced her to work up to 20 hours a day for only $250 per month.
Manger says another family brought a 14-year-old girl from Cameroon to the county on a false passport.
"She's forced to work as a maid and a nanny for the family who brought her here. She's not compensated. She's forbidden to leave the residence. She's not allowed to attend school. And after two years of physical abuse, she flees," he says. "This case only came to our attention because the family had the audacity to report her as a runaway."
Members of the police force will be part of the task force, which will study the issue to come up with new legislation for the county council to look over. Supporters says local action is needed because the General Assembly has been slow to tackle the issue statewide.