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Man accused of abusing children, using them in drug ring

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah authorities made a huge bust after arresting a man they say was at the head of a human and drug trafficking crime ring in the Salt Lake Valley.

The arrest of Victor Rax is considered huge because he's suspected of running a crime ring involving drugs and young victims. Police said that Rax, who has a number of other aliases, is charged with recruiting undocumented teenage boys.

Rax is accused of giving drugs to kids in order to make them drug runners, and grooming them for sexual exploitation, according to Missy Larsen with the Utah Attorney General's Office.

"Rax is a guy whose modus operandi (M.O.) was fairly simple," said the Attorney General's Chief of Law Enforcement Ken Wallentine. "He was involved in trafficking teen boys for sexual purposes. Some of these teen boys he would then turn into drug mules for him, selling drugs in schools."

Larsen said Rax took advantage of undocumented families and their children in particular.

"This is not only a drug trafficking case, this is also a human trafficking case. This is a case that gets quite in depth," Larsen said. "They are here for a better life, but they find it may not be so much better. Then they get wrapped up in something like this where the threat of deportment and other things really keep them entangled."

Tuesday, officers with the Attorney General's SECURE Strike Force, involving multiple agencies, arrested Rax in his car in West Valley, with two possible victims inside. Officers found a large quantity of drugs in the house where Rax was living, and have spoken with several of his alleged victims, one who said said the abuse started when he was 14 years old.

Officers said Rax used threats and intimidation so the boys wouldn't report him.

Investigators believe Rax had many more young victims, and they want them to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call the SECURE Strike Force Tip Line at 801-281-1203.

Rax was arrested for investigation of aggravated human trafficking, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, and unlawful endangerment of a minor. Rax is currently facing a number of federal charges related to human trafficking and drug distribution.

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