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Boston cops take aim at brothels

Feb. 3, 2006 at 11:27 PM
BOSTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Boston police say Operation Dial-A-Date, an undercover operation in the city's sex industry, aims to find women who have been trafficked as sex slaves.

Detective Sgt. Kelley O'Connell, who heads the Boston Area Human Trafficking Task Force, told the Boston Herald the operation began in the middle of 2005. He said that in addition to raiding brothels the task force looks for patterns.

"We're a poor city," O'Connell said. "It's very easy to just blend in. That's a problem we see in different trafficking cases. It's a hidden business operation that goes unnoticed. It just blends in with everyday business."

So far, the task force has made almost 100 arrests, including prostitutes, pimps and customers.

Carol Gomez, executive director of the Trafficking Victims Outreach Services Network, said gaining the women's trust is difficult since their relationship with police usually starts with an arrest.

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