BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - An Indiana man has been charged with endangering the welfare of children after authorities said he took kids to Kentucky and forced them to sell candy for him.
Shawn Floyd, 54, of Indianapolis was arrested last week in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a statement.
The 12 children involved in the case were taken into protective custody.
Floyd is accused of taking 12 Indiana children to Kentucky and forcing them to sell candy for profit, the statement said. The children were allegedly made to sleep in one hotel room with three adults, and had to purchase their own meals and water, according to the statement.
The youngest child was 11, the office said. Kentucky labor law requires a person to be at least 14 years old to be employed.
Beshear's office was notified July 12 of about 25 solicitor permits issued in Bowling Green, mostly for minors. The office had also received previously reports of Floyd possibly being involved in human trafficking in several Kentucky counties, the statement said.
"I want to commend the work of the Bowling Green Police Department and our human trafficking investigator,” Beshear said. “Their actions prevented any further possible exploitation or suffering for these children. When it comes to preventing such crimes, it requires cooperation across agencies and promoting awareness of such actions in every community.”
Floyd has a pretrial conference scheduled for Sept. 4 in Warren County, Kentucky, WANE-TV reported. Online records show Floyd has bonded out of Warren County Regional Jail.
Anyone who has information on people being exploited for commercial sex or labor can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 (or text 233733) for immediate assistance.
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