State Attorney General: Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs for s - CBS46 News

State Attorney General: Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs for sex trafficking

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Source: WGCL-TV Source: WGCL-TV

The State Attorney General said Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs in the country for sex trafficking.

Police in one metro Atlanta county say they're cracking down on the epidemic, adding extra patrols to check on activity at a specific hotel in Cobb County.

Police say the manager of the Red Roof Inn in Smyrna recently contacted them to report prostitution and drug activity at the motel. People staying there tell CBS46 that they often smell drugs and see people coming and going all the time.

CBS46 spoke with the director of Wellspring Living, a non-profit organization in Atlanta that helps young survivors of human trafficking get their lives back by providing shelter, education and counseling.

"With explosions and trafficking of children and adults, we know the traffickers use drugs to help keep them under their thumbs," says Mary Frances Bowley. "Everybody thinks it is men flying in for conventions but they're normally men from north of the perimeter with expendable income that are doing it on their computer at night because everything is so underground."

Bowley says the traffickers often use big expensive gifts and sometimes "brand" those exploited with tattoos.

"That's one of the techniques a traffickers uses because he grooms the girls to be open to doing whatever he wants," continued Bowley. "They actually brand the girls with tattoos to let people know that's there property."

CBS46 reached out to corporate officials at the Red Roof Inn to ask about the alleged activity at the motel in Smyrna.

Here is the statement they released:

"Red Roof Inn takes these matters very seriously. This franchised property, like all Red Roof Inn properties, has zero tolerance for illegal activity. Red Roof expects its franchises to always comply with the law."

According to recent statistics released by the FBI, Atlanta ranks among the top 10 cities in the U.S. for domestic minor sex trafficking. The city also has the highest trafficking rate for Hispanic women in the U.S. Statewide, about 100 girls are exploited each night.

SLIDESHOW: Worst states for human trafficking

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