"I saw an ad in the paper, to travel the world and do sales, you know," he said.
The company bought him a greyhound ticket to Texas to meet up with a crew selling magazine subscriptions for $20.00 a day, at least at first.
A fellow team member, left stranded in a small Texas town for failing to meet her magazine sales quota, tried to tell Dylan of the dangers his travels had in store.
"She said it's fine in your training, but after that it's all downhill," Dylan said. "She tried to warn me. She told me I'd have no money, and I would starve to death."
But Dylan was skeptical, assuming the girl just wasn't cut out for the fast-paced sales environment. He thought he would be different.
"I thought it wouldn't be that way for me," he said.
"You thought you would be the exception?" we asked.
"Yeah, but I wasn't. I was definitely the rule," he responded.
Pounding the pavement began at 8:00 a.m. each day, knocking on doors for upwards of 12 hours. At the end of the shift, teams would sleep five to a hotel room, and most days they were forced to rely on good Samaritans for a meal.
"A lot of times I wasn't doing well selling magazines and I didn't have the cash on hand to buy me something to eat," Dylan said.
The quota for the crew was often set at six subscriptions a day, with team members receiving a five dollar cut. It's money Dylan said the crew members never actually saw.
"Every time you needed money you had to go to your team leader," he said. "All of your money was kept in an account that only he had control over. If you wanted a new pair of sneakers, you had to go to him. If he didn't think you needed them, you didn't get them. It was just like having a master. You had to ask permission to do this and do that."
There were even fines that left sales crew members in the hole -- owing money for missing phone numbers and addresses on information sheets.
"They could find a reason to fine you for even the smallest things," he said. "Those fines eat away at your money, and then you don't have a dime."
And the punishments for failing to perform, could be severe.
"It never happened to me, but the kids under some other team leaders were being beaten because they weren't making their quotas," Dylan said. "The leader would have members of the team beat them, haze them, give them a hard time. Because in the leader's eyes, that kid was causing everyone else to suffer."
For Dylan, his beating came from a stranger on the streets in a rough part of town. He was mugged for a pack of gum and his cell phone.
"It was dark, one of those late working days," Dylan said. "The guy came up to me, demanded I empty my pockets. Another guy came from behind and punched me in the face and head. I had a bloody nose and a busted lip. My face was swollen and black eyes and all."
Dylan was never taken to the hospital by his team leader or given any type of medical attention, other than a gas station bathroom and a water faucet.
"It didn't hurt him [my team leader] none. He just wanted me to fill out the paperwork and give him the money I had made," Dylan said.
And that's when Dylan decided he wanted to return home.
"I stayed up all night trying to think of a way to get out. I didn't know if they would let me go, leave me stranded, or hold me there," he said. "So I came up with a story that my family had called and that my brother was deathly ill. I told them I had to go home or my parents were going to start making a fuss."
Like his former team member in Texas, Dylan was dropped off at a Las Vegas Greyhound station.
"I had no ticket, no money, no nothing," he said.
His parents received a phone call from a man who had discovered Dylan's stolen cell phone after it had been discarded. They contacted Dylan's uncle, who had a friend living in Vegas, to track down their son.
"I was finally able to get in contact with my parents," Dylan said. "I was scared, and I didn't know what was going to happen to me at that bus station by myself. But they were able to scrape together some money to buy me a bus ticket home."
Dylan had spent two months being told my team leaders and fellow team members to never reveal his location. The worry that contacting his family would come back to bite him never ceased until he arrived home three days later.
"I came home with absolutely no money whatsoever, beaten, bruised, and scared," he said. "I just can't think about what all could have happened to me. It was just as likely that I would never have made it home."
Dylan has no doubts he was caught up in a labor trafficking ring.
"I think that the company owned all of these teams and crews that were all connected," Dylan said. "I don't have proof of that necessarily, because we weren't ever allowed to know how the system really worked. But I think these people decided, 'We can talk these 18-year-old kids who think they know everything - con them into coming out here and making money for us."
Arkansas legislators like David Meeks are looking to create new laws to fight human trafficking, which includes labor trafficking and sex trafficking.
"It's slavery. It's modern day slavery, and we have to combat it," Meeks said. "We really want to him them [traffickers] in the pocketbook where it hurts."
Arkansas has one trafficking statute on the books, but it's never been used to prosecute.
"The penalties just aren't great enough for prosecutors to have any use for the statute," Meeks said.
Now, a team of state leaders is working to draft new legislation to seize operators' assets, hand down stiffer sanctions, and provide protection for victims.
"The Polaris Project considers Arkansas one of the 'Faltering Four' states, because we don't have enough laws on our books to really combat human trafficking," Meeks said.
The Polaris Project, a national human trafficking watchdog organization, not only ranks Arkansas at the bottom of the legislative totem pole, but it also considers sales crews one of the leading forms of labor trafficking in the U.S.
It's an estimated $50 million-a-year industry going largely unregulated.
Dylan's experiences seem to be textbook for these fly-by-night sales crews which appear to recruit young adults who are legally free to leave home on their own.
"At 18, we think we know everything and own the world, but we have no idea," he said.
The crews promise travel, fun, and big pay to target those from low-income communities or those with broken backgrounds.
"Me, I was from Arkansas, but I even had a good family that loved me and supported me," Dylan said. "Most of the kids there come out of bad homes or where they ran away from home."
The companies also seem to take advantage of parents' and the public's ignorance to remain in operation.
"Everybody I told what I was going to do, nobody had any idea what was going on. I had never heard of it anywhere," Dylan said.
For Dylan, his journey has lasted far beyond the two months he was out on the streets making sales.
"I haven't really been able to talk about it until now. It's something that's difficult to come to terms with. For a long time, it didn't seem real. I think I've spent the past two years in shock," he said.
And after being taught to make sales on the street, he's hoping parents and the public will listen to his pitch now.
"I would do anything to keep people from going through the same thing I went through," he said. "It was very scary and very life-changing."
We contacted a number of listings that offered fun, travel, and sales through Craigslist and the local newspaper to ask them about industry practices. None of them returned our phone calls.
While there are legitimate door-to-door sales companies that work in the United States, you'd be wise to do your homework, including determining if the company has an actual physical address and business phone number, a Better Business Bureau rating, and contacting the Attorney General's office in your state to see if complaints about the company have been made.
You can also check out the following websites: parentwatch.org and magcrew.com, which both work to highlight sales operations that have found to be illegitimate.
To read the Polaris Project's full research report on traveling sales crews, click the button to download the PDF document.