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MADISON, AL (WAFF) -
The FBI is working with Madison Police to investigate a human trafficking case in Madison County.
Madison Police said that a tip concerning a 15-year-old girl from Memphis was found on the web site The Polaris Project. It led them to the Motel 6 on Madison Boulevard.
Madison Police, the FBI, and members of the Madison County Narcotics Unit set up surveillance and identified what they said appeared to be prostitution taking place.
They served a search warrant and discovered the 15-year-old girl and multiple people involved in human trafficking.
Police arrested five people in connection with the case. Among the arrests were Alexander Blackmon, 23; Michael Taylor, 25; Ashley Patton, 19; Javoris Glasper, 21; and Keshuna Williams, 20.
All were charged with first degree human trafficking and taken to the Madison County Jail on a $50,000 bond. Additional charges may be pending.
The 15-year-old girl was placed in the care of the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
Pat McCay, Chair of the Huntsville Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force, said cases like this are more common than you would think.
"Be aware that it is happening," she said. "Not on a large scale, but it is happening in Alabama. It's not terribly common, however, it's been going on for the last several years."
McCay credits Huntsville and Madison's location for human trafficking cases.
"We're right in the middle of a triangle," she said. "We have Nashville to the North, we know it's had quite a problem with trafficking; Birmingham to our South, Atlanta to our East and Memphis to our West."
McCay is passionate about bringing awareness about human trafficking to the Valley. She's holding a Human Trafficking 101 course on January 8th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church. Everyone is welcome.