Jacksonville FHP trooper recognized for helping teen sex trafficking victim

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is being applauded for helping a 17-year-old girl who he believed may have been a victim of sex trafficking.

Sgt. Roger Thomas got a Back the Blue Award Wednesday from the attorney general.

According to the attorney general's office, Sgt. Thomas responded to a crash involving a pedestrian in Duval County and found a 17-year-old girl who was critically hurt.

Sgt. Thomas was having trouble identifying her because of her condition. The state issued Rapid ID and NCIC/FCIC fingerprint database both came back unsuccessful.

The Attorney General's Office said he worked beyond his midnight shift to identify the teen and reunite her with family.

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He learned from her aunt that the teen had a history of running away from home and may have been involved in a sex trafficking ring.

Sgt. Thomas immediately contacted the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families, which were investigating the case.

He also made it his mission to protect the teen while she was in the hospital as he coordinated correspondence between investigating authorities.

Attorney General Ashley Moody went to the Florida Highway Patrol's Troop G Headquarters in Jacksonville Wednesday and gave the award to Sgt. Thomas.

He has been with FHP for more than 17 years and is one of the agency's top training instructors in high liability topics.

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