Missouri company linked to human trafficking case - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Missouri company linked to human trafficking case

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CAMERON, MO (KCTV) -

Teenagers say they were held against their will and forced to go door-to-door to sell magazines.

Now two men are in custody in North Carolina and they have ties to a Missouri company.

Bridgette Robbins owns Midwest Circulation LLC, a magazine distribution company located in Cameron, MO. She refused to speak to KCTV5 on camera and a friend of hers said that neither he nor any other employee could speak to the media.

"If you'd like any information, please just contact our attorneys," the friend said.

Two men arrested in Wilmington, NC, on kidnapping and human trafficking charges told police they worked for Midwest Circulation located in Cameron. Police said the teens were hired to go door-to-door to sell magazines across several states, but the teens claim they were being held against their will.

Two of the teens were sisters ages 15 and 16. They said they were told when they were hired that they could leave anytime, but the suspects refused to let them go.

"They had phones, but their phones weren't working and their phone chargers were broken so basically they were cut off from communication and they made requests to contact their parents and made requests for bus tickets home and they were being denied," said Sgt. Thomas Tilman with the Wilmington Police Department.

Robbins said she did not hire teenagers and she was trying to find out what happened in North Carolina. Wilmington police did not say where the girls were originally from, but police found them in a hotel after the two sisters had been reported missing.

The suspects were charged with human trafficking of a child, involuntary servitude, second-degree kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

"I would ask any citizens, if children come door-to-door and they are not Girl Scouts selling cookies or Boy Scouts selling popcorn or kids selling the dining attraction guides to benefit schools. If it's not something usual, please do not give them money," Tilman said.

The Better Business Bureau rated Midwest Circulation with an "F" rating showing more than 160 complaints against the magazine sales and distribution company.

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