© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

AG Paxton Launches New Human Trafficking Unit

Ryan E. Poppe
TX AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the launch of the Texas Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Unit.  Paxton says the unit will not only focus on sex crimes, but also incidents and businesses using what he labeled as “slave labor.”


“It includes young men and women who come to our country and being forced to work imaginary and endlessly revolving debts against their captors," Paxton said.


Credit Ryan E. Poppe
Kirsta Melton, Head of the Texas AG's Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Unit

Former Bexar County prosecutor Kirsta Melton will head the new unit.  She told the story of a young 16-year-old victim she tried to help, who after being a victim of human trafficking, set up a prostitution ring with her husband in San Antonio.


“And he sent her out to recruit from one of San Antonio’s most affluent and nicest high schools in one of the best districts and to bring in juniors and seniors there who they could put out on the internet and begin to prostitute them," Melton explained.


According to the Attorney General’s Office, Texas has the second highest incidents of human trafficking in the country.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.