Fairchild Drug Bust Leads to Human Trafficking Victims Coming Forward

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The Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department says more human trafficking victims have come forward following a drug bust last month.

55-year-old Charles Page and 55-year-old Mark Scoville of Fairchild were charged in Eau Claire County court in February. They are facing charges including possession of narcotic drugs.

Deputies say the charges came after an 11-month investigation by the West Central Drug Task Force.

During the initial investigation they found a large amount of drugs in two homes and evidence of human trafficking.

The sheriff’s department encouraged other potential victims to contact their office.

According to officials, since the initial investigation at least three victims have come forward.

Officials say they will continue to investigate in hopes that more victims come forward.

“We’re very hopeful because we want justice for those victims, and we don’t want this to happen to anyone else in the community,” said Lt. Cory Schalinske, of the field services division.

Tia-janae Johnson, survivor advocate at Fierce Freedom, says they work with law enforcement to help provide victims with support.

“We here at fierce freedom, we’re very well aware of the manipulation that comes along with that and how people are led to making those choices,” said Johnson.

Johnson says human trafficking is a real issue in the community.

I think a lot of people have the idea that it’s not here because they have the perception that its somebody who’s getting kidnapped or abducted and taken away, said Johnson.

Johnson said there are resources available and any victims dealing with this experience are encouraged to come forward without fear.

“We just like to help these girls and these guys know that there are resources to help you get beyond a trafficked life,” said Johnson.

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