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      Leaders discuss human trafficking at field hearing in La Joya

      Testimony was heard today showed the horrors of human trafficking and revealed young women are being forced into prostitution.

      It was a meeting of the minds in La Joya with state leaders listening to hours of testimony from directors of several state agencies on how to combat a a major issue plaguing the state, human trafficking.

      State health officials testifying that young females are being forced into prostitution, many times after getting smuggled across the border and that they can be identified by tattoos or branding as if they were cattle.

      A South Texas district attorney explained how hard it is to prosecute human trafficking cases since the victims are either too scared to talk or they get deported before they can be interviewed.The lawmakers are gathering information from the state agencies in an attempt to pass legislation in January that will increase funds to help in the capture of traffickers and also the prosecution and protection of victims.

      Texas DPS director Colonel Steve McCraw says troopers have been able to save lives when making traffic stops and detecting a human trafficking case, but victims become so fearful they protect the suspects.