Human Trafficking in Montana is Real and the Numbers are Staggering
The Montana Office of Public Defender estimates that there are at least 15 active sex trafficking operations in Montana right now. In one year, Billings FBI documented close to 20,000 online ads for sex with girls or women, most of the ads involved local massage parlors. The agent also found thousands of similar ads across the state. Council woman Penny Ronning and Stephanie Baucus who created the Yellowstone Human Trafficking Taskforce have been working with Senator MacDonald and Representative Zolnikov on two important pieces of Legislation HB749 and SB147. SB147 aids in stopping Human Trafficking by creating harsher penalties for traffickers while protecting victims. HB749 Requires massage businesses to display on the premises the license of each massage therapist working at the business and appropriates money to fund a two-officer enforcement team in the MT Department of Justice.