Life
Observant airport clerk saves two teen girls from a human trafficking ring
When she noticed things felt off, she started asking questions.
Winona Thomas
11.01.21

Meeting a new person can be scary especially if it’s the first time. There’s nothing wrong with it as long as you have researched the person and have a friend to accompany you. However, there are instances when this person you are about to meet is part of a huge human trafficking ring.

Sadly, a lot of young girls are tricked by these people.

Denice was an airport clerk for American Airlines at Sacramento International Airport in California.

Helping out customers was her job. On one of her shifts, she was approached by two teenage girls.

YouTube Screenshot- CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot- CBS Sacramento

She didn’t know that a simple interaction would change the lives of these two girls.

Denice found out that these two girls were going to New York using a first-class ticket. She began to notice that they didn’t have anyone with them and they were only traveling with a small bag in their hands. The two girls also didn’t have any I.D.

YouTube Screenshot- CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot- CBS Sacramento

Denice began to ask them simple questions regarding their trip.

This is when it started to get weird. The girls didn’t know the answers to her questions. One of them even began to text the person they were about to meet in New York for answers.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

They said they were going to meet a man named Drey who they had been chatting with on Instagram.

Drey paid for their expensive tickets and he was going to pay them $2000 for a modeling gig.

“One of the girls was texting someone on the phone to get answers. They had small bags, and I initially thought they were running away from home,” Denice said in an interview with Today.

Aside from these, Denice found out that the credit card used to buy the ticket was flagged for potential credit card fraud.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

To not alert the teenagers, she kindly asked them to sit tight as something was wrong with their tickets.

She then secretly called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Airport Bureau.

Upon arrival, the girls shared the information with the police.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

They informed the girls that they were almost the victims of a human trafficking ring.

“We don’t believe his real name was Drey,” stated Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sergeant Scott Swisher.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

“Drey” had done a few things to conceal his real identity.

He had used a Google phone number so it wouldn’t be tracked down. When they also tried to reach out to Drey, he deleted all of his social media accounts. The girls were rattled.

YouTube Screenshot- CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot- CBS Sacramento

They had told their parents they would be sleeping over at each other’s home. They didn’t expect that flying off to New York might have resulted in their abduction. Thankfully, Denice was there to help them.

Denice was considered a hero for saving these girls.

She was even praised by her boss, Aleka Turner, for her quick thinking.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

“I’m proud of Denice and how she put her training into action to save these children,” Turner said in a statement.

“She is a testament to the critical role our frontline team members play each and every day in the operation and the lives of each person they come in contact with.”

Thanks to Denice, the two young girls were able to go home safely.

Hear more about how Denice saved the day in the video below!

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By Winona Thomas
hi@sbly.com
Winona Thomas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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