Man arrested for trafficking minors highlights big problem in Bexar County
A local man is charged with selling sex with minors at a San Antonio motel. Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas ‘Nico’ LaHood says that it's a crime that he sees all too often.
According to the U.S Health Department, 25 percent of human trafficking in this country comes through Texas. LaHood says that his office is working on 40 to 60 sex trafficking cases at any given time.
“Eighty percent of our victims are children,” LaHood noted.
Case in point, 21-year-old Elijah Teel was arrested on Tuesday and charged with trafficking of a minor. An arrest report states that Teel placed ads on the site backpage.com to lure his victims.
La Hood says that usually these types of cases involve runaways.
“Usually something is going on in the house,” he said. “Then you have these predators waiting in the wings, and they lure them… through fraud, deception, and coercion.”
Teel’s victims were runaways and had been reported missing. Teel and an accomplice are accused of renting the victims a room at an Econolodge off I-35.
According to SAPD, Teel set up sex dates for the girls and collected half of their money at the end of each day.
La Hood says that Bexar County's Human Trafficking Task Force works closely with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute these crimes aggressively.