Oklahoma's top narcotics enforcer says human trafficking has become more profitable than drug trafficking and that many drug dealers now traffic in young people for sexual exploitation.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Control Director Darrell Weaver made the comments Wednesday during a legislative study of child trafficking crimes and services available to victims.
Dr. Laura Boyd, a public policy and government relations consultant and a former state representative, told lawmakers progress in this field starts with changing the way human trafficking crimes are perceived and modifying current legislation in Oklahoma.
The House Public Safety Committee is developing recommendations for possible legislation for lawmakers to consider next year.
Last year, Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law legislation that shields minors from prostitution charges by creating the legal assumption that they were coerced into the work. Fallin also signed a bill that allows sex trafficking victims to ask courts to clear prior prostitution convictions.
Recommendations for additional legislation include requiring human trafficking training for law enforcement.