Tag Archives: state

Video gambling cash payouts violate state law – MDJOnline.com

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm

At a gas station on Austell Road, a line of video gambling machines displays a colorful spinning reel. The demonstration video on the machines shows three BAR symbols lining up. The word jackpot appears on the screen in large, capital letters.

But the only jackpots these machines are supposed to give out are lotto tickets, free replays and store merchandise worth less than $5, according to state law. Giving out cash prizes for video gambling devices is illegal.

I get people coming in all the time asking if I pay cash, said the owner of the station. I always say no. Its not worth it. I dont want to go to jail. You can get lottery tickets or you can get gas.

The owner did not want to give his name because he said he did not want to be associated with operations that do not play by the rules.

He was referring to a recent case in which three men were arrested on charges of allegedly running illegal gambling operations out of convenience stores on Franklin Gateway and Windy Hill Road in Marietta.

According to warrants, Khubaib Hussain, the owner of Gantt Foods on Franklin Gateway, operated the two locations, and Arif Muhammad and Samson Beye handed out the cash.

Other owners of gas stations in Marietta and Smyrna said they could not or did not want to speak on the record about gaming machines. Some said they only gave out lottery tickets as prizes, others also offered gas, but they all said they never give out money.

The MDJ looked at machines at 12 convenience stores. All had inspection stickers from the Georgia Lottery Corporation, and they all had stickers advertising a helpline for those with gambling addiction.

The Georgia Lottery began regulating what they call Coin Operated Amusement Machines, or COAMS, in 2013.

In addition to posting the stickers on their machines, owners of COAMs in the state must pay a licensing fee, and all machines need to be connected to a central accounting system to ensure they are being used properly.

Warrants allege Hussain operated at least 14 COAMs outside of compliance with the state regulations at the two locations.

Marietta police said the investigation into the operation began as an investigation into drug trafficking in mid-2014. It since expanded into an operation involving the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the department of revenue and Cobb and Douglas County Police Departments.

On Feb. 13, officers served warrants on the stores and Hussains home in Douglasville, seizing $250,000 in cash, a large tote full of gold jewelry, eight computers, one cellphone and five high-end vehicles.

In a post on his law firms website, criminal defense attorney Sandy Wallack of Wallack Law said paying out cash for COAM games can incur harsh penalties, including seizure of cash and bank accounts as well as revocation of the owners lottery license and privileges.

While there are a plethora of ways you can violate Georgia law and/or (Georgia Lottery Company) rules and regulations pertaining to COAMs, the cardinal sin remains paying cash as a reward for successful play of a COAM, Wallack wrote.

The three men arrested in connection with the recent case are currently out on bond; Beye and Muhammads bonds were set at $2,970 each, and Hussains was $38,720.

Marietta Police said the investigation was ongoing and could involve charges of money laundering.

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Video gambling cash payouts violate state law – MDJOnline.com

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City Council to look at removing zoning restrictions on gambling entities – Watertown Public Opinion

Posted: at 7:49 pm

A section of a Watertown city zoning ordinance pertaining to gambling establishments could go by the wayside.

The Watertown City Council is set to conduct a first reading amending Title 21 of Ordinance 17-02 removing zoning restrictions on those entities on March 6. The potential revision would put the city in compliance with a 2011 South Dakota Supreme Court ruling that municipalities could not regulate gambling institutions, including casinos and video lottery establishments.

The proposed amended ordinance was put forth by City Attorney Justin Goetz, who has been busy in working with the Plan Commission and City Council in updating the ordinance book since assuming his position last summer.

Under the current ordinance, gambling establishments are confined to commercial zoning areas under a conditional use permit, similar to restaurants, motels, and other businesses.

However, in 2011, the Supreme Court sided with the South Dakota Department of Revenue over the City of Sioux Falls as the Department of Revenue argued that the City of Sioux Falls ordinance on gambling establishments was invalid because it infringed on the sovereign prerogative of the state.

While the proposed ordinance wouldnt be able to explicitly restrict gambling establishments in commercial districts, that doesnt mean that those establishments are going to be able to pop up anywhere in the city.

Goetz noted to the Plan Commission last week that in issuing the ruling, the Supreme Court said municipalities such as Watertown could effectively enact restrictions on the placement of gambling establishments.

There is still the ability of the city to determine locations of alcohol licensees. The gambling license is effectively attached to the alcohol license it is a certification attached to the alcohol license. That allows the city to be able to regulate placement, Goetz said.

According to Goetz, the proposed amended ordinance would allow Watertown to get out ahead of any potential legal challenge against the current ordinance brought forward by either the state or another party.

No lawsuits against the City of Watertown on the issue are pending or currently underway, which left Plan Commission member Dennis Arnold questioning the timing of the proposed ordinance.

(At any given time) there are a lot of court cases and things around the county where organizations are challenging something and it gets changed, Arnold said. I think the residents of Watertown have liked our (gambling locations) ordinance the way it is, or at least thats what I assume. Nobody has challenged it. Why do we have to change it if nobody has challenged it?

While Goetz said he empathized with Arnolds point of view, he also said that the proposed ordinance reflecting the court ruling is an extension of the state establishing its authority back in the 1980s when the original law cited by the court was written, thereby not leaving it up to different interpretations by municipalities.

In interpreting the courts ruling, Goetz said, If localities were allowed to determine where gambling establishments could be in South Dakota, there would be a lot of dry communities, if you will, for these kind of establishments These forebears at the state level saw that writing on the wall and saw that municipalities would have issues certain municipalities more than others. In order to ensure that this was provided statewide, municipalities couldnt butt in and occupy the field of state regulation that they had set for themselves.

After the first reading of the ordinance amendment occurs on March 6, a second reading, and possible approval, may occur at the following City Council meeting scheduled for March 20.

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City Council to look at removing zoning restrictions on gambling entities – Watertown Public Opinion

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Florida Gambling Expansion Reaches Impasse Between State House and Senate – Casino.Org News

Posted: at 7:49 pm

News Legislation Florida Gambling Expansion Reaches Impasse Between State House and Senate

A new Florida gambling expansion bill is diametrically opposed to the wide-ranging gambling reform package proposed in the Senate by the influential lawmaker Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton). Galvanos bill (SB 8) received unanimous backing from senators at its first hearing late last month.

Florida State Senator Bill Gavano (right) said that the bill that opposes his legislation in the House is healthy for the debate about whether to expand gambling in the Sunshine State, and how to negotiate with the Seminoles. (Image: AP file photo)

Its a political confrontation that one gaming lobbyist called the stand off at the OK Corral, although its unlikely to end quite as badly for the parties involved.

The new Proposed Committee Bill (PCB TGC 17-01), put together by the House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee, seeks to rein in the opposing chambers push for slots and blackjack expansion. Among SB 8s objectives is the expansion of slot machines into eight counties where they have voter approval.

SB 8 would also permit parimutuel venues to run blackjack games (previously a preserve of the Seminole tribe, which operates seven casinos on tribal lands throughout the state).

The House bill broadly seeks to preserve the interests of the Seminoles, who have been at loggerheads with the state over their right to offer banked card games, namely blackjack, since the expiration of their compact in 2015.

PCB TGC 17-01 would allow the Seminoles again to be granted exclusivity on banked card games, this time in exchange for $3 billion in payments to the state over seven years.

In contrast, Galvanos bill would charge the Seminoles the same fee over that timeline, but for the right to offer craps and roulette, as well as blackjack. Meanwhile, the right to offer blackjack would expand to parimutuel venues.

PCB TGC 17-01 would also preserve the interests of racetracks in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the only ones in the state where racetracks are permitted to operate slots. Galvanos bill, on the other hand, would allow decoupling at racetracks across the state, which means horse and dog racing operators would not be required to run live races and instead could offer other forms of gambling.

The House Bill would make decoupling a violation of the proposed compact with the Seminoles.

In December, a federal judge ruled that the Seminoles could continue to offer blackjack at their properties until 2030, because the state had previously violated the compact by allowing cardrooms and racetracks to offer banked card games and electronic blackjack at their premises.

The state gambling regulator, FDBPR, made a serious error of judgment in approving these games and the ruling puts the Seminoles in a strong bargaining position as negotiations over a new compact continue. Whether the tribe will prefer to preserve the status quo and their monopoly on blackjack, as the House bill proposes, or take a gambling on roulette and craps exclusivity, is anyones guess.

Either way, Galvano said he welcomed the competing legislation as a healthy development in a state where gambling reform bills have historically been given short shrift.

Its positive to see two bills, one in each chamber, moving this early in the process . . . in other words before session has even begun, the senator told the Sun Sentinel. So with these two bills out there, we all know what the playing field looks like, and theres time negotiate further with the Seminoles and [between] the chambers.

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Malcolm Turnbull says WA deal doesn’t mean Liberal party supports One Nation – The Guardian

Posted: at 7:44 pm

Malcolm Turnbull says preference allocations, such as the WA governments deal with One Nation, are not value judgments. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Malcolm Turnbull says entering a preference deal with One Nation doesnt mean the Liberal party supports One Nation, as a new poll shows a majority of voters disapprove of a deal between the Liberals and Pauline Hansons party in Western Australia.

Turnbull told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday that preference allocations were political calculations designed to maximise the performance of the Liberal party, not value judgments.

Asked about the Liberal partys decision in WA to preference One Nation ahead of its alliance partner, the Nationals, in some areas, the prime minister said: Well its important to understand … that in most parts of Australia we have a compulsory preferential voting system, where you have to number a square next to each candidate on the ballot paper so there will always be the allocation of preferences.

But just because preferences are directed to a party doesnt mean that you support them quite the contrary.

His comments come as the latest Guardian Essential poll says 38% of people disapprove of the deal between the Liberal party and One Nation in WA, while 29% approve. But, among Liberal voters, 43% approved of the arrangement and 25% disapproved.

The deal in the west has also been criticised by the federal Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce. In an interview with Guardian Australia last week, Joyce warned that anti-Islamic statements, such as the ones espoused by One Nation, could harm Australian trade deals.

He said he would give instructions not to preference Hansons party before the Liberal party in federal seats.

The deal in WA parts ways with John Howards dictum in 2001 that One Nation should be put last on Liberal how-to-vote cards and some Liberal moderates are concerned preferencing One Nation will help entrench Hanson in the Australian political mainstream, creating a long-term problem for the Coalition parties.

The Australian on Tuesday reported that One Nations Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, wanted positions in the ministry in return for supporting the LNP in the state election, which is expected later this year.

Dickson, who recently defected from the LNP to lead One Nation in Queensland, said policy and positions would be a condition of support for an LNP minority government in the state.

One Nations strong performance in recent polls suggests the party will do well in Queensland. A recent poll had the party on track to better its result of 11 seats in the 1998 state election.

Howard last week abandoned his own 2001 instruction to put Hanson last, saying he fully understood the decision in Western Australia for the state election.

Everyone changes in 16 years, he said. Trying to understand that decision and decisions that were taken by various iterations of the Liberal party 15 or 16 years ago is ridiculous.

This is a different set of circumstances. I think its entirely sensible that the party has done whats its done.

Since the deal was struck in WA, a number of federal ministers have lined up in support, with some advancing arguments that One Nation is more sophisticated than it was 20 years ago.

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ACHS seeking another state tournament run – Donaldsonville Chief – Donaldsonville Chief

Posted: at 7:31 pm

Ascension Catholic will have a new head coach in 2017, but he’s no stranger to leading the Lady Bulldogs to championships.

Ascension Catholic will have a new head coach in 2017, but hes no stranger to leading the Lady Bulldogs to championships.

After a hiatus from coaching, Don Henry returned over the summer to begin his second stint as Ascension Catholic head coach.

Henry coached the Lady Bulldogs for 14 years. In that time, he led them to 11 state tournament appearances and 11 district titles.

Under his leadership, Ascension Catholic won three state titles (1995, 1999 and 2000), and they finished as state runner-up in 2004.

He now returns to lead the program after his former player Brandi Manry resigned during the offseason.

Manry had led Ascension Catholic for three seasons. They made it to the Fast Pitch 56 in all three years of her tenure.

In 2014, they finished as state runners-up, and last season, they reached the state semifinals, before losing to eventual state champion Catholic of Pointe Coupee.

When Henry was first hired, he said, Its a great fit. I still have a lot of friends in the area. There are a lot of great people and great kids at the school. It was also a great honor for me to follow Brandi Manrywho was one of my former players. She did so many great things for the program in the three years that she was the coach. Ill definitely have some big shoes to fill, but Im excited to try to continue the great tradition that the program has built over the last few years.

Henrys biggest challenge in his quest for a fourth state title will be replacing pitcher Julia Beck and outfielder RaeShaun Melancon. Both players were instrumental in the teams run to four straight state tournament appearances.

Beck established herself as one of the best pitchers in the state.

Last season, Beck was named the LSWA Class 1A Outstanding Player. She was also named the parishs Pitcher of the Year, and she was first-team all-district.

Melancon was the Lady Bulldogs most dangerous hitter as she hit .534 with 10 home runs en route to being named District 6-1A MVP and first-team All-State.

She is an LSU-Eunice signee.

Behind Beck and Melancon, Ascension Catholic went 18-9 and won another district title.

Though losing both players are huge losses, the fortunate thing for Ascension Catholic is that everyone else will be back in 2017.

The Lady Bulldogs had six other players make the all-district squad last year.

Ascension Catholic returns first-baseman Abigail Landry, short stop Alicia Canatella and outfielder Carson Dunn. Landry was first-team all-district in 2016.

Utility player Meredith Medine made first-team all-district as a freshman last season. She will return with fellow all-district outfielder Bailey Acosta.

Lauren Landry was another all-district player that will be returning.

Other notable Lady Bulldog standouts from last year include catcher Ceily Grasiffe and third-baseman Isabelle Abadie.

The wealth of talent on the roster is one of the things that excited Henry when he took the job.

Brandi and her coaching staff have done a terrific job, and they definitely didnt leave the cupboard bare. They have some great players returning, and theyre all well coached, Henry said. Im walking into a great situation with a great group of kids, and from what Brandi has told me, theyre dedicated. Theyll go through walls for you, so Im confident well do some great things.

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VEX Robotics winners gear up for world championship in Kentucky – – WSYR

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) – Students from across New York State visited Onondaga Community College on Saturday for the final leg of the VEX robotics competition.

66 teams competed at the state championship, the most ever in the event’s four year history.

The program helps teach kids about engineering, teamwork and problem solving.

This year they had to navigate giant jacks and cubes over a three foot high fence, scoring points for each one they conquered.

“The kids like to work with the robots and like to have that hands-on experience where they can build something that they created or concepted and turned it into an actual robot out here that’s competing,” said Bryan English.

Tournament champions come from Baldwinsville, Sandy Creek and Oswego.

They are headed to the world championships in Kentucky in April.

Winners include:

Excellence Award (VRC/VEXU)

5221D Corcoran SCSD

Tournament Champions (VRC/VEXU)

9282A Freezing Code Robotics Club

34000Z Sandy Creek Central School

7323A Baldwinsville CSD

Design Award (VRC/VEXU)

174A Liverpool High School

Tournament Finalists (VRC/VEXU)

4305A Granville Jr//Sr High School

8828B Blue Streak Robotics INC

8876E Queensbury UFSD

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VEX Robotics winners gear up for world championship in Kentucky – – WSYR

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Millenials new target for gambling addiction | Local | kearneyhub.com – Kearney Hub

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:46 am

KEARNEY From online poker and slot machines to daily fantasy sports, the Internet has made gambling accessible to anyone interested in logging on.

That easy access has changed the face of gambling, according to Deb Hammond, a provider with the state of Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program. Hammond will be conducting a public forum in Kearney Saturday afternoon at First Baptist Church to raise awareness and spark a discussion about problem gambling.

What were seeing now is a different generation of gambling. Millenials are who are having problems. Theyre gambling on the phone not casinos. Its a population that isnt going to a casino in another state anymore. They can gamble at anything they want on the Internet, Hammond said.

Gamblings shift from table games to tablets has made it harder to recognize the traditional problem signs, Hammond said. Thats why its important to open up a dialogue in forums where experts, community members and, of course, gamblers can collaborate.

The goal of Saturdays forum is to talk about how we can talk about this together, said Hammond. How can we open up a dialogue between political leaders, community leaders, problem gamblers and the gaming community? Its not the gaming communitys fault anyone loses control, but we should talk about how they can help.

The forum also will address how the Gamblers Assistance Program can help those who may be in over their heads. The program uses a portion of the proceeds from the Nebraska State Lottery to certify and train gambling counselors and pay for problem gambling counseling, making it easier for people with financial barriers to receive treatment.

Problem gambling is not isolated to just the gambler, Hammond said. Family members, employer and friends of problem gamblers can all be affected, and all are eligible for counseling services with the help of the program.

GAP is available, and its free to anyone whos affected by a problem gambler, Hammond said.

People need to figure out how to gamble responsibly, Hammond said. Were never going to get rid of gambling, and I dont think we should. Gambling isnt wrong or a moral issue, but it can get out of control, and we need to be sure to talk about that, and offer help when its needed.

There are three Gamblers Assistance Program providers directly serving the Kearney area as well as several in McCook, North Platte, Scottsbluff and Norfolk. All have certified gambling counselors.

The providers with the program are allowed to treat at no charge to the client whatsoever, according to Hammond. There are no limits to the amount of counseling sessions people can receive through the Gamblers Assistance Program, she said.

State Sen. John Lowe of Kearney is expected to attend, Hammond said.

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Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm – Cape Cod Times (subscription)

Posted: at 4:38 am

Doug Fraser @dougfrasercct

CHATHAM This June, the state will solicit bids seeking offshore wind farms to produce 400 megawatts of electricity. Its the first of four phases of what state officials hope will be 1,600 megawatts of offshore power; 15 percent of what the state uses annually, enough power to replace what will eventually be lost when Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station shuts down.

Submitting a bid in June will be the first tangible step for a group of Marthas Vineyard residents who started the Vineyard Power energy cooperative six years ago in response to a lot of the things they didnt like about the nowdefunct Cape Wind project. It has 1,400 members and claims the cooperative represents 5,000 people on the island.

Richard Andre, president of Vineyard Power, said their prospects improved dramatically when Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation in August that required that powerutilities solicit and contract for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power as part of their energy portfolio by 2027.

Then, we knew we would have a buyer for our power, Andre said.

Vineyard Power representatives came to the headquarters of the Cape CodCommercial Fishermens Alliance in Chatham on a stormy Wednesday to get feedback from fishermen.

Perhaps it was fitting that there werent many fishermen in the audience, because Andre said that unlike Cape Wind, which was sued by Vineyard fishermen and hotly contestedby many Cape fishermen, they havent received any negative feedback.

We identified our site in 2009 as an area with the least amount of fishery conflicts, Andre said.

The process was helped considerably by the federal government in 2009 when theBureau of Energy Management mapped out areas of the ocean with good wind and relatively few conflicting uses or environmental concerns. John Pappalardo, CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermens Alliance, was part of the team that helped to eliminate large areas that were valuable for fishing, shellfishing or for fish habitat.

This zone was much larger. We shaved a huge piece out of it primarily because of scallops, Pappalardo said.

At over 500 feet tall, the 40 to 70 turbines that would be constructed in the first phase would be spaced more than a half mile apart. Andre told the audience there would be no reduced speed or areas closed to navigation or fishing. It has not been determined yet whether there could be anything like a kelp or mussel farming operation using components of the turbine. There would be money available to reimburse fishermen displaced during construction work.

By locating them 12 miles offshore, Andre said the turbines would only be visible on extremely clear days and, even then, would be far off in the distance.

We wanted a different model than Cape Wind. We wanted there to be local benefit, local employment, and local input into the project, Andre told the audience. Weve met with over 20 fishing groups since March of 2016.

Vineyard Power partnered with Vineyard Wind, which holds the lease on the 260 square miles of ocean 12 miles south of the island. Vineyard Wind is a subsidiary of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, a Danish company that invests pension funds from NorthernEurope. It has $3.5 billion in assets, Andre said, and is primarily focused on renewable energy projects. CIP has managed and invested in over 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines currently being built in Europe, according to its website.

Three companies, Deepwater Wind, another Danish company, Dong Energy, and Vineyard Power hold the three federal leases in federal waters south of the Vineyard that were designated as appropriate for offshore wind through an ocean zoning process. In September, the three companies signed letters of intent to use the state-run $113 million New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, which had been built in anticipation of the ill-fated Cape Wind offshore wind farm being constructed.

This December, Eversourceacquired 50 percent ownership of the offshore wind farm proposed by Dong Energy.

All three offshore wind companies could be submitting bids this summer, Andre said. Price is the primary consideration, and he anticipates the winning bid will be in the mid-teens per kilowatt hour as compared with Cape Winds prices, which were over 20 cents. Each subsequent bid phase is required to start at a lower price than the previous ones as improved technology and economies of scale reduce costs. Europe, where they have been producing such power for decades, has seen offshore wind drop to 10 cents, Andre said.

The area south of the Vineyard has been rated the best or second best on the East Coast for the strength and consistency of its wind, Andre toldthe audience.

Vineyard Wind ships were out on Nantucket Sound this summer and fall doing seismic and sonar testing on the sea bed to determine what type of foundation would be required for the turbines.

Environmental studies of impacts on birds and marine life, and permitting, will continue for another two years. Construction could start as early as 2020 and take two years. It will take about 2,000 construction workers for the first phase, and Andre said the plan is to employ a lot of local workers.

The company with the winning bid would also have to get state permits to run cables, which will be buried 6 feet deep in the sea bed, to the mainland.

Follow Doug Fraser on Twitter:@dougfrasercct

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NH Lawmakers Advance Proposed Bitcoin MSB Exemption – CoinDesk

Posted: at 3:52 am

Legislators in New Hampshire have advanced a bill aimed at carving out regulatory exceptions for certain bitcoin businesses, public records show.

As reported by CoinDesk last month, New Hampshire’sHB 436 seeks to create a regulatory exception for persons “using transactions conducted in whole or in part in virtual currency” who may otherwise be considered money transmitters under current laws.

Sponsored by state rep Barbara Biggie with Representative Keith Ammon as a co-sponsor the bill was passed along to the NH House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. On 16th February, according to LegiScan, an 11-9 majority of the committee approved the bill to advance to the House floor for a vote, the date of which is not immediately apparent.

The bill also seeks to update the state’s definitions for virtual currency with a revised version that would read:

“‘Virtual currency’ means a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded and functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account or a store of value, but does not have legal tender status as recognized by the US government.”

Despite the movement, however, there’s no guarantee that the bill will pass.

Legislators in the state have expressed a degree of aversion to the tech in the past, killing a bill proposed last year that, if passed, would have allowed state citizens to pay their taxes in bitcoin.

Image via Shutterstock

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Law enforcement, advocacy groups work to stop sex trafficking in the Fox Valley – WGBA-TV

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:48 am

APPLETON, Wis. –

Along the I-41 corridor, from Milwaukee to Green Bay, young, vulnerable teenagers have been lured into the dangerous and hidden world of sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is happening in every county in the state, according to law enforcement and advocacy groups, but Milwaukee, Appleton and Green Bay are some “hot spots” for sex trafficking in the state.

There are many misconceptions about sex trafficking, particularly that prostitution is a victimless crime. However, Appleton Police Lieutenant Steve Elliott knows that is far from the case.

After seven years leading the street crimes unit for Appleton Police, he saw that many women were not prostitutes, but victims.

“We realized that there was heavy coercion and manipulation going on in many different ways,” said Lt. Elliott.

In all his years fighting the problem in the Fox Valley, one story stays with him. A victim started dating a man, and he ended up moving in with her and her child.

“One day, the victim came home to her quote unquote boyfriend, and the child wasn’t there,” Lt. Elliott said. “At that point that switch flicked, that personality changed, and the trafficker, that was now known to this woman, basically said if you want to see your little one again, you’re going to go have sex for money.”

“Anyone who is a parent would understand, or anyone who has a little one that they love, how horrible that would be if you didn’t know where they were.”

One misconception is that traffickers are abducting their victims, according to Lt. Elliott. What they actually do is manipulate victims through a process called grooming, he said.

“The flattery and gifts, the older boyfriend, promise of adventure and travel,” he said. “They isolate these girls.”

The traffickers make young victims think they’re dating, preying on their vulnerabilities.

“It’s not what you see in the movies, it’s not that van that drives up and picks up that girl,” said Dawn Quait, part of the leadership team for the organization 5 Stones.

5 Stones is a volunteer organization that works with Lieutenant Elliott and other Fox Valley groups to educate people on the problem and help victims.

“It’s very hidden,” Quait said.

80% of human trafficking in Wisconsin is sex trafficking, according to 5 Stones.

The biggest problem is getting victims help that actually works, Quait said.

“Because it can take 7-10 years of just basic services to get a victim to a survivor,” she explained.

There’s also still a misconception that trafficking doesn’t happen here in Northeast Wisconsin, but advocates say the I-41 corridor makes it easy for traffickers to bring victims from Milwaukee.

“You need men, because that’s usually the people who are buying the sex, you need hotels or motels, you need computers, and highways,” said Lt. Elliott. “That’s all you need.”

That’s why law enforcement and advocacy groups have come together in an Outagamie County Steering Committee to fight the problem.

“You can’t arrest your way out of this problem, it’s absolutely impossible,” said Lt. Elliott.

Lt. Elliott also sits on the state anti-human trafficking task force. In the second part of our investigation into the human trafficking problem on Friday, NBC26will look more into that task force, what it’s accomplished so far, and what it’s goals are for the future to battle this issue.

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