Everybody has a nightmare story about air travel and rude airline employees. But one brave ticket agent just save two teenage girls from a real life nightmare: becoming the victims in a sex trafficking ring.
The agent, appropriately named Denice Miracle, noticed two teenage girls traveling through Sacramento International Airport without adult accompaniment. “Between the two of them, they had a bunch of small bags,” Miracle said. “It seemed to me as if they were running away from home. They kept looking at each other in a way that seemed fearful and anxious. I had a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right.” Each of the girls had a one way only ticket to NY (purchased by a 3rd party) and no ID. So, Miracle called the police. When questioned by the sheriff's deputy, the 2 teens told him that their tickets were purchased by some dude named "Drey" who contacted them via Instagram and offered them $2000 to perform in a music video.
Yeah, nothing suspicious about THAT.
Unfortunately, the sheriff's department sent "Drey" a message through Instagram, and he immediately deleted all of his social media profiles. Too bad they couldn't have contacted the NY police and had them pick up the guy on their end.
The two gullible teens didn't seem to realize just how close they came to tragedy. According the deputy Sanderson, “They were somewhat flippant about [it],” Sanderson said. [“They said] ‘No, that can’t be true’ — and I said, ‘No, the airline says you have a one-way ticket, and in my belief, you’re going back there not to do the things that you think you were going to be doing.’ And they said, ‘I wouldn’t let anything happen that I didn’t want.’ And I said, ‘Well, you probably wouldn’t have a choice in the matter.'”
One of my pet peeves on social media is the "puppy video" story that keeps going around. You know, the one where some guy was able to lure children off a playground with a puppy (and never mind that their parents were in plain view the whole time.) Everyone is worried about a stranger nabbing their kid off a sidewalk in broad daylight, but how many parents are aware that sex traffickers are ACTUALLY using social media like this to lure girls into sex trafficking? You teach your children "don't talk to strangers" and yet 2 teenage girls were actually stupid enough to believe that some stranger was going to fly them to NY and put them in a music video?
I hope American Airlines gives Ms. Miracle an award for "agent of the year." Thank God that there are people like her willing to take a risk and get involved. And for law enforcement agents like Deputy Sanderson who respond so quickly to protect these children. I just hope these girls learned a lesson.
Oh, and if you're a parent, you might want to check in to what your kids have been doing on social media.