Several arrests made in North Reading human trafficking case

Several arrests made in North Reading human trafficking case

NORTH READING, Mass. — Several people were arrested Thursday in alleged connection with human trafficking in several communities.

According to reports, five individuals were arrested in four communities and 10 women were freed from human trafficking.

The North Reading Police Department said it received tips that led them to a suspected sex trafficking ring in North Reading.

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"Illicit organizations, like the one dismantled in this case, often try to set up shop for short periods of time, then move on before they are detected,” said North Reading Police Chief Michael Murphy.  “We were fortunate in this case that our detectives were able to develop the information and gain the cooperation of the public to arrest those responsible,”

Online advertisements drew people to the North Reading location to engage in sexual acts with the women for a fee.

"In the vast majority of cases, the person at the other end of an online advertisement is the victim of human trafficking, and someone is profiting off of their misery. Often that misery is forced upon them by their traffickers through coercion or even drug addiction,” said Chief Murphy.

During the case, the North Reading Police Department partnered with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The investigation uncovered alleged widespread human trafficking, sex crimes, and a money laundering operation in North Reading.