MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Some shocking allegations about a sex trafficking ring that started in South Georgia.
It's one of the biggest cases ever in the Southeast.
Federal prosecutors announced indictments against 38 people after a shocking investigation that began in Moultrie.
"Some of these victims were expected to have sexual intercourse with 30 customers or Johns each week day and up to 70 individuals on each day of the weekend," said Michael J. Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
29 people are now behind bars after a year long federal investigation into a human trafficking ring prosecutors say began in Moultrie.
"We were able to use a number of law enforcement tools that we have at our disposal and determine that there was a brothel being run in the Moultrie, Georgia area," said Moore.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore says Jose Roberto Laines ran the ring that spread across the Southeast. Thursday, authorities raided brothels and homes in 13 cities across 8 states.
"To me the number that I care the most about is that we had 15 victims that we were able to bring to safety," said Moore. "So, it was a good day for law enforcement cooperation."
The youngest victim was 14-years-old. News of the arrests brought joy to Nancy Bryan, the Executive Director of Ruth's Cottage and Patticake House in Tifton.
"I was really excited to know that some real work had been done to stop and to catch human sex traffickers in our area," said Nancy Bryan, Executive Director of the Ruth's Cottage and the Patticake House.
Bryan is teaming up with law enforcement officers in Tift County to provide training, and help put an end to this growing problem.
"That they know what to do, what the signs area the behaviors of victims who may be present and what the legal status is, and their arrest abilities," said Bryan.
Authorities say Atlanta remains the number one hub for sex trafficking. Bryan says many times the victims are women from outside of the U.S. who are dependent on their trafficker.
"Even though the treatment of them is bad and they don't like it they're dependent on these men for their very meals and where they sleep and their everything, so they are very frightened," said Bryan.
Moore says he is proud of the investigation results.
"If we would've just had one victim, all the investigative effort would've been worth it to make sure that that one victim was given a second chance," said Moore.
Authorities are still searching for 9-suspects named in the indictment.