On Monday night, Charlotte's City Council received an update on a major issue in the Charlotte area – human trafficking.
The U.S. attorney who briefed City Council sat down with Eyewitness News about the new ways investigators are fighting the growing problem.
In front of City Council on Monday night, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne Tompkins talked about a crime that many still can't fathom happens in Charlotte.
"Combating human trafficking is one of the highest priorities..." said Tompkins.
In August, a federal jury handed down a guilty verdict for Juan Brandon Gray-Sommerville, 23, of Charlotte, for trafficking a minor for sex.
Tompkins said most of the local human trafficking cases right now, involve the Internet where suspects lure the girls and sell them.
"That's how I was coerced into it. I was sold off of backpage.com," said Ashley Sanders.
Sanders, 26, is a survivor of sex trafficking.
"I was sold to 20 men a day for seven days a week for six months... at least 20, if not more than that," said Sanders.
She now works with the Charlotte nonprofit All We Want Is Love to help victims locally, and there are plenty to help.
Tompkins told Eyewitness News Monday that her office is handling so many cases, she recently designated an assistant U.S. attorney here to handle them.
"What we need is assistance in bringing these cases to the point of prosecution," said Tompkins.
To help close more cases, she implemented new training.
In the past month, her office organized training for hundreds of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Officers.
"If we can take the hundreds of Charlotte Mecklenburg police department officers who are on the street 24-7, and train them on what to see, that takes our small federal investigative force and really makes it so much bigger,” Tompkins said.
Sanders was ecstatic to hear about the new training.
“It's great that there's a huge, huge police force out there that's going to assist in this, that will know who to call on this, and who needs to handle it, and where these victims should go," said Sanders.
On Monday night, CMPD also talked about how it is working to add human trafficking to its report writing system within the department to help track cases locally.