FBI Busts Child Sex Trafficking Rings, Rescues Adults, Too
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has busted several child sex trafficking syndicates in the first two weeks of August 2022, rescuing 84 minor victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation offenses and finding 37 missing children during a nationwide enforcement campaign dubbed “Operation Cross Country.”
Photo Insert: The nationwide enforcement campaign was dubbed “Operation Cross Country.”
Agents and investigators also identified or arrested 85 suspects with child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses. Those suspects identified will be subject to additional investigation for potential charges.
The average age of victims located during this year’s Operation Cross Country was 15.5, while the youngest victim discovered was 11 years old.
In addition to the identification and location of adolescent victims, the FBI and its partners located 141 adult victims of human trafficking.
Locally, FBI agents and victim specialists from the Phoenix field office worked with law enforcement partners from the Phoenix Police Department’s HEaT (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) unit and identified and/or located 17 adults during operations that ran locally from August 9-12. While no minor victims were found during this special operation, more than 15 adolescents have been recovered in Arizona since the beginning of 2022.
“The Justice Department is committed to doing everything in our power to combat the insidious crimes of human trafficking that devastate survivors and their families,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
“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.”