Twelve minors taken into protective custody in multi-agency investigation
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 16, 2019) – Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today that an ongoing labor trafficking investigation involving multiple agencies has led to an Indiana man being charged in Bowling Green for endangering the welfare of 12 minors.
Shawn Floyd, 54, of Indianapolis, was charged by Beshear’s office with 12 counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, Class A misdemeanors, and one count of controlled substance prescription not in original container, a Class B misdemeanor.
On July 12, 2019, the Bowling Green Police Department made a traffic stop on Floyd. A human trafficking investigator from the Office of the Attorney General responded to interview him. During that interview, Floyd was detained and 12 minors were taken into protective custody.
Floyd allegedly brought Indiana children to Kentucky to sell candy for him for profit and forced the 12 minors to sleep in one hotel room with three adults. The minors were forced to purchase their own meals and water. The youngest minor was 11. Kentucky labor law requires a person to be at least 14 years old to be employed.
“I want to commend the work of the Bowling Green Police Department and our human trafficking investigator,” Beshear said. “Their actions prevented any further possible exploitation or suffering for these children. When it comes to preventing such crimes, it requires cooperation across agencies and promoting awareness of such actions in every community.”
On July 12, Beshear’s office had been notified of about 25 solicitor permits issued in Bowling Green, mostly for minors. Beshear’s office had also received information referencing Floyd for possible human trafficking of minors occurring in Anderson, Daviess, Fayette, Jessamine and Warren counties over the past two years and had an open investigation involving Floyd.
The investigation is ongoing in cooperation with the Bowling Green Police Department, the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Department of Labor, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Office of the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations.
Attorney General Beshear and his office have taken action to increase human trafficking awareness and implemented strategies to hold human traffickers accountable and assist victims.
Beshear’s office received a federal grant in 2016 – the first Department of Justice grant ever awarded to a Kentucky agency to combat human trafficking. The grant provides support to the Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force in its efforts to develop a process for collecting and interpreting data on human trafficking and model protocols for victim-centered response, investigation and prosecution of these cases.
The funding also allowed a specially trained human trafficking investigator to be hired. Last year, Beshear’s office was involved in more than 30 arrests or citations involving the crime.
Beshear said if an individual is being exploited for commercial sex or labor, he or she can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 (or text 233733) for immediate assistance. Interpreters are available for callers. To report suspected human trafficking of a child, call 877-KYSAFE1. Beshear said to dial 911 if you believe the individual is in immediate danger.