70 Missing, Trafficked Texas Children Recovered in Multi-Agency “Operation Lost Souls”

Photo by Joe Loong Some Rights Reserved4

Dozens of children were rescued following a three-week operation carried out by multiple law enforcement agencies in West Texas, the Department of Homeland Security announced this week.

The 70 recovered children included victims of trafficking as well as physical and sexual abuse and ranged in age from 10 to 17.

The agencies which conducted the operation included Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and several other federal and state agencies took part in “Operation Lost Souls,” according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).

“At the Department of Public Safety, teamwork is one of our core values,” said DPS Major Matthew Mull. “We are grateful for all of our law enforcement partners who participated in this operation and who work around-the-clock every day to protect our communities, including our youth.”

“Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization. In this case, we are looking out for our children – our community’s most precious resource,” HSI El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho said.

“HSI is committed to continue working with our law enforcement partners to locate, recover and help missing children heal, while ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for these heinous crimes and brought to justice.”

The agencies are also providing counseling and recovery services to the victims and their families.

Click2Houston noted that the press release coincided with National Missing Children’s Day on May 25.

If you have any information about a trafficking victim or suspected trafficking activities, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.

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