Denice Miracle was working her shift as an American Airlines agent when she was approached by two teenage girls. Neither had any identification, and they were traveling suspiciously light.
“I think the way they kept looking back-and-forth at each other like they weren’t really sure. And then they were texting someone on the phone, and that person was giving them answers,” Miracle told KOVR.
She took a look at the girls’ tickets and noticed that they were purchased under another person’s name. She started to get the feeling that something nefarious was going on.
“It was a first-class ticket. It was very expensive,” she explained. “I told a supervisor, ‘I’m going to call the sheriff. It just doesn’t feel right to me.’”
'It just didn't feel right': Airline agent saves teens from human trafficking plot >> https://buff.ly/2ochcV3
Police came to the airport to talk to the girls, and told Deputy Todd Sanderson that they met a man named “Drey” on Instagram.
He invited the two of them to New York to make $2,000 for a modeling and music video shoot.
The tickets were one-way, which was a massive red flag to Sanderson. To him, the whole situation looked like a classic sex trafficking plot.
“They were somewhat flippant about — ‘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,’” Sanderson recalled.
After describing the situation to the girls, who were 15 and 17, they started to grasp the fact that they made a massive mistake.
The authorities tried to find “Drey” on Instagram, but he caught onto them and deleted his profiles before they could get a lead.
Sacramento airport agent, deputy halt possible human traffickingn airport deputy and an airlines agent are being celebrated for potentially saving two Sacramento-area girls from human trafficking.When people think of trafficking, they often think of malls and public places — but oftentimes, sex trafficking begins with predators on social media, convincing young girls to meet in person.In this most recent case, traffickers convinced two young girls through Instagram to get on a flight to New York — where they likely would've been trafficked, had it not been for the actions of American Airlines agent, Denice Miracle."I fully believe she probably prevented these girls from becoming victims," said Todd Sanderson, sheriff's deputy at the Sacramento International Airport.On Aug. 31, two girls, ages 15 and 17, approached the American Airlines counter with reservations for a flight to New York — reservations made on a fraudulent credit card.The girls had no identification and no return flight home — things that left Miracle uneasy."She just felt uneasy about the whole situation," said Sanderson.Rather than turning the girls away, Miracle alerted Sanderson, who later found them near the terminal."They had told us they were talking to somebody on Instagram who was asking them to come back and take pictures, modeling pictures, and music videos," said Sanderson.That was a red flag for Sanderson — who said his training helped him identify the hallmarks of sex trafficking."That's typically the ruse that's being used to get minors and others involved to do that," said Sanderson.That ruse may have continued, had Miracle not stepped in.Sanderson said the girls didn't believe him at first — that they were being tricked into trafficking.They were shaken when it sunk in but had Miracle let them leave the airport, they wouldn't have gotten the message,American Airlines wouldn't allow Miracle to speak to FOX40 today on camera — but the airline sent a statement detailing the act of kindness.
Posted by Crew Juice on Thursday, February 15, 2018
Denice Miracle, the agent who initially intervened, has a name the truly suits her.
“She probably really was their miracle that day, whether they want to believe it or not,” Sanders said.
When informed of their daughters’ actions, the girls’ parents were stunned.
They had no idea that their daughters were about to fly out of state — right into a sex trafficker’s hands.
The deputies from the department warn parents that this is the type of thing they have to look out for on social media. Keep track of what your kids are doing online, because there won’t always be a Miracle to stop them.