CANTON, Georgia – The following is an official statement from the Canton police department:
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at approximately 10:24 a.m., an officer with the Canton Police Department conducted a traffic stop, which resulted in the arrest of a juvenile female for human trafficking, kidnapping, and multiple other charges.
The officer conducted the traffic stop on North Street near Railroad Street in Canton, Georgia, after observing the driver holding her cellphone while operating the vehicle. When asked for identification, the female driver could not provide a driver’s license or identification, leading the Officer to obtain her name and date of birth.
The officer returned to his vehicle, where upon running the vehicle registration, learned the 2014 Dodge Caravan was reported stolen out of North Carolina. A search of the van was conducted, which led to locating 13 THC vape cartridges, 3 vape pens, a THC Nerds Rope, and a large amount of lingerie.
Suspicious of the relationship and items located in the vehicle, detectives were requested to the scene. After further investigation, detectives determined the female passenger was a 13-year-old juvenile, who was a victim of human trafficking and kidnapping. Officers and Detectives were able to determine the driver was transporting the victim to another state.
The female driver was placed under arrest. Charges listed are listed below:
-Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude
-Giving False Name, Address, or Date of Birth
-Theft by Receiving Stolen Property -Stolen in Other State
-Unlawful Use of Wireless Device
– VGCSA Possession of a Controlled Substance
It was later determined the female driver was in fact a 16-year-old juvenile, after obtaining her true identity. She is currently in custody at a regional youth detention center.
The victim has been reunited with her family.
Chief Stephen Merrifield stated, “I would like to express my gratitude for the exceptional work of our Officers and Detectives in this case. By taking a routine traffic stop and conducting an exceptional investigation, members of the Canton Police Department forever changed a young girl’s life for the better.”