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Associated Press, Published July 17 2012

Top federal prosecutors warn of ND, SD human trafficking

FARGO — Top federal prosecutors from North and South Dakota have added human trafficking to their list of violent crimes that are affecting American Indian tribes in the two states.

U.S. attorneys Brendan Johnson of South Dakota and Timothy Purdon of North Dakota told attendees of a conference on family violence Tuesday that both states are seeing an increase in girls and young women being recruited for prostitution and drug rings.

The prosecutors say the operations are formed mainly in populated areas, but Native American girls are particularly at risk. A recent sex trafficking case in North Dakota involved several victims from the Fort Berthold reservation.

Johnson says his office has seen three indictments for human trafficking in South Dakota in the last three months.

The conference runs through Thursday in Fargo.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.