Law Enforcement Operation Recovers 121 Children, 141 Adults in Sex Trafficking Operation

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

A law enforcement operation headed by the FBI and involving hundreds of state and local departments has recovered 84 victims of child sex trafficking as well as 34 additional missing children, making 121 recovered minors overall.

The Department of Justice conducted “Operation Cross Country XIII” alongside 200 law enforcement departments as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The operation lasted two weeks.

The operation also located 141 adult victims of sex trafficking and resulted in 85 arrests connected to suspected child sex trafficking and exploitation.

“I am grateful to the dedicated professionals of the FBI and our law enforcement partners across the country for their tireless work to rescue trafficking survivors, including exploited children, to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of trafficking crimes, and to provide the services and support that survivors need and deserve,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Garland also said his department is “committed to doing everything in our power to combat the insidious crimes of human trafficking that devastate survivors and their families.”

“Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters,” said FBI director Christopher Wray in a statement, Axios reported.  “Unfortunately, such crimes — against both adults and children — are far more common than most people realize.”

In 2021, the NCMEC tipline received over 29.3 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation. According to the organization’s data, 1 in 6 of the missing children reported to them are likely to be victims of sex trafficking.

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