In a recent nationwide enforcement effort known as “Operation Cross Country,” the FBI reported significant progress in combating sex trafficking.
During the two-week initiative, authorities discovered 200 victims of sex trafficking, shedding light on the magnitude of this crime.
The operation resulted in the identification and arrest of 126 suspects involved in child sexual exploitation and human trafficking, along with an additional 68 suspects linked to trafficking.
The primary focus of the operation was to identify and locate sex trafficking victims. The FBI worked closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to track down offenders and dismantle their criminal enterprises.
Operation Cross Country led to the rescue of 59 minor victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation. The efforts also resulted in identifying the victims as 59 children who had been reported missing, highlighting the essential role law enforcement plays in returning these vulnerable individuals to safety.
FBI Director Christopher Wray reaffirmed the bureau’s unwavering commitment to combating this threat, emphasizing that sex traffickers prey on society’s most vulnerable, including many children.
Attorney General Merrick Garland echoed this sentiment, praising the operation’s success in rescuing minor victims and arresting those responsible for these crimes.
The FBI’s multidisciplinary team, comprising victim specialists, forensic interviewers, special agents, and victim service personnel, worked with state and local partners to provide essential resources and tailored services to trafficking victims. This support acted as a crucial bridge between the victims and investigators, ensuring their unique needs were addressed.
The announcement coincided with the unexpected box office success of the indie film “Sound of Freedom,” which focuses on sex trafficking. Having grossed over $130 million since its July 4 weekend debut, the movie has heightened public awareness and concern about this issue.