by Andreas von Buddenbrock
In his most recent collaboration with Baltimore Magazine, photographer Mike Morgan and writer Ron Cassie got to join Cpl. Chris Heid, an undercover officer in the Maryland State Police’s Child Recovery Unit, as he was following up online leads in order to find and recover underage victims of sex trafficking. The article, titled “Children of the Night: Sex Trafficking is Maryland’s Dirty Open Secret”, underscores the fact that Maryland ranked fourth per capita in trafficking cases of 2015 – something that many of the state’s inhabitants might be largely unaware of. It also mentions that out of 396 survivors who came into contact with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force in 2014, only eight were undocumented immigrants and 56% were aged 17 or younger.
Mike describes his experience with Cpl. Heid as such: “Working from his laptop in the front seat of his car, Cpl. Heid followed online leads and made phone calls to set up an encounter in hopes of finding and recovering an underage victim. Discovering a promising lead, we followed the team to a motel east of Baltimore where the sting operation uncovered a young mother of two in a sex trafficking situation. She wasn’t arrested, only provided with options to local resources and questioned for information that might lead to arrest of the pimp.”
The full article (a highly encouraged read) can be found on Baltimore Magazine’s website