#minorsextrafficking | NC human trafficking sparks debate over misinformation and services

The logo is a black snarling wolf, at times decorated in the American flag. The slogan is equal parts promise and threat: “The Wolf Pack is Coming for You.”

That the imagery of Operation Wolf Eyes resembles military insignia is fitting. Andy Ledford, the organization’s founder, spent two decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he worked in a rapid response unit and later trained soldiers on anti-terrorism tactics.

Now a car salesman in the Western North Carolina town of Canton, Ledford began focusing on human trafficking early last year when, as he tells it, he glanced down at a local crime newspaper called Fuzz Busted and saw authorities had arrested sex traffickers near his home in Haywood County.

Operation Wolf Eyes was born from that moment. 

Operation Wolf Eyes logo and tagline.

Within months, Ledford had a website, a small volunteer leadership team, and merchandise emblazoned with a fiery wolf. He recruited a cyber-ops coordinator to monitor illegal behavior online and envisioned creating “a war room” from which his staff could coordinate anti-trafficking efforts across the western mountains.

“We want to be a rapid response team from Asheville all the way to Tennessee,” he said. “This situation is very real in the United States. This situation is very real here.”

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