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Plano police investigated possible child sex trafficking attempt



PLANO, TX – Plano police recently investigated a viral social media photo that appeared to be an attempt to promote a child for sex trafficking, according to a spokesman.

The post shows a minor child who is wearing a red dress. It first appeared on Snapchat and then spread across other social media, including Facebook and Instagram, police said.

“One of the posts mentioned that a transaction took place in Plano,” police spokesman David Tilley said.

When the department was notified Sept. 18, detectives worked through the night and used advanced techniques to try to identify of the author of the message and the child’s mother, police said.

The post used a Plano address, but the author was traced to another city and had not lived in Plano for several months, detectives learned.

Plano police contacted the department in the other jurisdiction and were explicitly asked to not reveal the agency because the investigation is ongoing, Tilley said.

Social media posts about the sex trafficking of minors have proliferated in recent months, originating from groups such as Save Our Children that have grown rapidly in North Texas and across the country. Some of the posts are nothing more than conspiracy theories spread as part of the QAnon network — the wild and false theory that President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a massive cabal of satanic child predators and cannibals.

When Plano residents heard about the post, a flurry of discussion swept across social media and the police department and city hall were inundated with calls, Tilley said.

“A lot of people were very concerned,” he said. “This is a serious issue.”

Tilley said he is not aware of similar incidents taking place in Plano, but that does not mean it could not or is not happening.

“Everyone wants to think all of this stuff is happening somewhere else, and they have their heads in the sand,” he said. “It can happen anywhere.”