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HELENA, Mont. -- Attorneys general in Montana and Idaho have joined a national coalition of 49 attorneys general urging Congress to give states more power to investigate and prosecute prostitution and child sex trafficking cases.

The group wrote to Congress Wednesday, seeking an amendment to the 1996 Communications Decency Act to provide criminal jurisdiction to state and local prosecutors.

The act was created to protect children from accessing indecent material online, but courts have interpreted parts of it to provide immunity from state prosecution to classified ad sites that promote and profit from human trafficking.

The National Association of Attorneys General argues federal law needs to be updated to provide local prosecutors the tools to punish those who use technology to promote sexual exploitation of children.

Montana AG Tim Fox and Idaho AG Lance Wasden signed the letter.

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