The youngest sex trafficking victim a 3-month-old girl
The FBI announced on Wednesday that authorities have rescued 84 children and arrested 120 alleged traffickers as part of a national anti-human trafficking initiative.
As a part of Operation Cross Country XI, the FBI and 78 state and local task forces conducted undercover stings. This occurred from October 12 to 15.
The agency mentioned that organizations in multiple countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines have also assisted in the initiative.
FBI agents reportedly staged operations where they were staking out hotels, casinos, truck stops, street corners, and Internet websites.
The average age of victims was 15. The youngest rescued child was 3-months-old, according to the FBI.
KMGH reported that Denver police had rescued the baby girl and her 5-year-old sister after a family friend tried to sell them for sex to an undercover officer for an amount of $600.
“We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation’s children from harm,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested—and the number of children recovered—reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work.”
The statement explained that state protective services and the FBI’s Victim Services Division offer assistance to the rescued victims. Depending on their condition, they are offered a wide range of services, which includes mental health counseling.
The announcement comes just a day after police in Polk County, Florida, said they arrested 277 human trafficking and online prostitution suspects.
As a part of the Operation No Tricks, No Treats, Police officers posted fake online ads where they posed as prostitutes. Deputies said they arrested 51 people who had advertised themselves online as prostitutes – 209 of who solicited undercover detectives, according to WPEC.
Investigators also noted that they located and saved 5 possible human trafficking victims during the operation, which took place on October 10-16.
“We are committed to fighting human trafficking, by arresting those who engage in prostitution and trying to identify human trafficking victims,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
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