Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

‘Highway Justice’ pair tangles with dark side in trafficking tale

| January 16, 2018

Trucker Jake Brakefield and FBI agent Lena Laredo form an unlikely team in “Highway Justice,” which starts Monday in the daily Overdrive newsletter. The serial was illustrated by Don Lomax. It was written by Carolyn Mason and Max Heine.

A serialized graphic short story, “Highway Justice,” will debut Monday in the daily Overdrive Newsletter & Fuel Report. The full series can be seen at OverdriveOnline.com/justice.

The tale involves the fictional Jake Brakefield, a trucker with a checkered background who gets caught up in a dangerous FBI operation to bust a human trafficking ring. The 10-part story will appear on Mondays and Thursdays for five weeks in the newsletter, which is free to subscribers.

Human trafficking has been in the news this month, which was designated National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. According to Truckers Against Trafficking, truckers have made more than 1,900 calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, 888-3737-888. Those calls resulted in identification of 545 likely trafficking cases, though the problem is far larger than that.

“It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of adults and minors are victims of human trafficking each year in the United States — many of whom could be moved from state to state along our national highway system,” says Tiffany Neuman, vice president of the truck stop trade group Natso.

This month Lisa Mullings, Natso Foundation president, briefed the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee about the multi-pronged anti-human trafficking initiative undertaken by the foundation. It includes the foundation partnering with the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to distribute public awareness materials.

Early this month, the Combating Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act was signed into law. It fights human trafficking by designating an official at the U.S. Department of Transportation to coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across DOT, among other measures.

In this video of a Ted Talk by trucker and former police officer John McKown, he advocates for drivers of all vehicles to help protect victims of human trafficking. He shares some simple ways to increase awareness of potential problems:

 

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