AG's first-ever human trafficking summit targets criminals profiting from sex trade
Human Trafficking Training Conference held ahead of annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally where rash of arrests have been made since 2021
Every year thousands of bikers flock to the Black Hills of South Dakota for the nation’s largest motorcycle rally.
Nearly all of them make the journey to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to enjoy the open roads, scenery, concerts and comradery. But with that surge of visitors comes a dark underbelly of the otherwise lauded event.
The rally is also a hotbed for child sex and human trafficking crimes, a problem authorities on the frontlines say has only worsened in recent years.
“As we see nationwide, events that bring in a lot of people have a higher likelihood of these (other) kinds of events occurring,” Attorney General Marty Jackley told The Dakota Scout ahead of the 83rd annual motorcycle rally, which kicks off Aug. 4.
Since 2021, there have been 15 people arrested during the rally for alleged crimes involving the sex trade.
That’s in part why Jackley’s Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are partnering with federal and local law enforcement agencies to step up training and enforcement efforts around human trafficking.
And last week, the Attorney General’s Office hosted its first-ever Human Trafficking Training Conference in Pierre where attendees included representatives from law enforcement agencies, local governments and non-profit organizations.