MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Human trafficking and internet crimes against children are growing problems across the country and in Wisconsin. The FBI made 82 arrests in Wisconsin during a nationwide sting last month and rescued two children.
State lawmakers are now hoping to help investigators crack down on those crimes with a bipartisan bill that expands on existing laws. Current legislation was designed to mainly help investigate child pornography cases, but AB 634 would help investigators better fight human trafficking as well.
Matt Joy, Dir. of the Human Trafficking Bureau and Internet Crimes against Children Task Force with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, said investigators are currently allowed to subpoena internet providers for records, allowing them to track IP addresses.
Under the proposed bill, the Attorney General would also be able to subpoena hotels for their internet records. The hotel would have to provide the customer's name, address, phone number and the duration of that person's stay.
Joy said internet crimes are hard to track because technology is ever-changing. Criminals are using apps and encryption to hide their identities and locations, so the DOJ needs more tools to fight them.
"We started recognizing, as we built our human trafficking capacities over the last year, that this tool could be a great benefit to those who are engaged in human trafficking investigations as well," Joy said.
He said if this bill passes, the DOJ would be able to more quickly and effectively help people and make arrests.
Wisconsin Dells (WKOW) -- As lawmakers put forth a bi-partisan bill to fight human trafficking a special state-wide conference is held on that very topic.
"I think trafficking is, I hate to say evolving," Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Schlipper said to a crowd of more than a hundred at a special Human Trafficking Conference up at the Dells.
"It's amazing and I'm so glad there are so many people here that want to network with each other and want to network with these victims and hopefully try to get a head of this," Rock County Child Protective Services Social Worker Marsha Deitelhoff said.
Schlipper wants advocates and officers to know how the new 'Johns' are preying on small town Wisconsin.
"The perpetrators of human trafficking are trolling Facebook sites for victims, and there is no reason law enforcement can't use Facebook as a tool to find out information about who's trying to take advantage," Schlipper said.
Deitelhoff agrees and worries about what could come.
"If anything, it's [human trafficking] growing and growing and growing because you don't have to be in a big city because everyone has the internet and people can be controlled from anyone, they can be controlled from someone in jail, not in the same city, state," Deitelhoff said.
The two day seminar at Chula Vista also focuses neurobiology of trauma and interview techniques for juvenile victims