Bloomington, IL – Illinois State Police Spearheads Human Trafficking Crackdown

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Bloomington, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) arrested 24-year-old Marcus D. Bender from Springfield, IL, during a focused operation in Bloomington on March 20, 2024. 

According to Illinois State Police reports the operation, led by the ISP’s Division of Criminal Investigation Trafficking Enforcement Bureau, aimed at dismantling networks that force individuals into the commercial sex industry through coercion or deceit and to provide aid to victims. Bender faces allegations of involuntary servitude and promoting prostitution, both classified as Class 4 felonies.

The initiative saw collaboration with the Bloomington Police Department, the East Central Illinois Task Force, Task Force 6, and Homeland Security Investigations, underscoring the comprehensive effort to combat this grave issue. Support was also extended by the McClean County State’s Attorney’s Office, highlighting the operation’s broad-based backing.

Human trafficking involves the manipulation or force of individuals into exploitative situations for labor, services, or commercial sex acts. The ISP emphasizes its ongoing commitment to eradicating human trafficking across Illinois through continued enforcement and public education efforts. Individuals are encouraged to report suspected trafficking activities to the National Human Trafficking Hotline or directly to the ISP.

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