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'Modern day slavery is what human trafficking is': Human trafficking cases on the rise in Brown County

Prosecutor Zac Corbin urges parents to stay vigilant
Brown County courthouse
Posted at 8:50 PM, May 24, 2023

GEORGETOWN, Ohio — Brown County Prosecutor Zac Corbin said more human trafficking cases have landed on his desk in the first five months of 2023 than in the last five years.

He has four active human trafficking cases. He closed one last week.

“Modern-day slavery is what human trafficking is,” Corbin said. “These folks are preying on children, they’re targeting children, and they find them on these various social media platforms. Snapchat is a big one. And, they’ll start messaging and pretty quickly the messages will turn sexual.”

Corbin said 32-year-old Dylan Moore pleaded guilty to several charges including trafficking, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years. Corbin added he’ll spend the next 20-25 years in prison.

Last week, Corbin hit Jordan Jeffery with a 38-count indictment. Jeffery previously lived in Las Vegas. He made plans to meet a 13-year-old in Brown County.

“He flew into CVG Cincinnati, caught a train to Maysville, Kentucky, which is right across the river from us, managed to walk across the bridge to Brown County and there and there he was communicating with this child,” he said.

Corbin said Jeffery and the teenage girl exchanged hundreds of video texts. Many of them involved nudity. He said Jeffery bought two train tickets to San Diego; one for him and the girl.

“If you really look at the several weeks of messaging that was occurring between them there is intensive psychological warfare against her. He absolutely was exercising control to the point where she would call him master. There was manipulation, there were threats,” Corbin said.

He said predators are changing their tactics. Corbin noted most predators are targeting individuals online and establishing a relationship. He added these predators go to great lengths to build trust and sometimes use fear and intimidation. He said the grooming process can last weeks, months, or even years.

“These folks are preying on children, they’re targeting children, and they find them on these various social media platforms. Snapchat is a big one. They’ll start messaging and pretty quickly the messages will turn sexual,” he said.

RELATED | Three people indicted on human trafficking charges in Brown County

Corbin urges parents to stay in the know with what their children are doing online and who they are talking with.

“If you’re going to make that decision to give that child that device then you better know what they’re doing. And, just because you think they’re in their room playing a video game doesn’t mean they aren’t predators half a world away that can find them and talk to them. Parents or guardians need to be vigilant,” Corbin said.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 10,360 cases and 16,710 victims of human trafficking in 2021. In 2021, there were 424 victims in Ohio, 189 in Kentucky, and 176 in Indiana.

“I think when numbers trend down I hope that means we’re doing a better job of educating, raising awareness and we’re being more careful with what our kids are doing online and what others are doing, so that could be. It could have something to do with COVID. But, I also think we have to be careful with statistics because I know just through my experience doing this many sex offenses are never reported or they will not be reported for years,” Corbin said.

Jeffery has a pre-trial date on June 12 at 10:30 a.m.

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