FBI nationwide operations locates 121 actively missing kids, child trafficking victims

The FBI announced on Monday that it has located 121 children who had been reported missing, some were victims of trafficking.

In a news release, the FBI said that its nationwide sting, dubbed “Operation Cross Country” initiative was able to locate over 200 victims of human trafficking and related crimes in the first half of August.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the FBI had identified and/or arrested 85 suspects relating to human trafficking. The youngest trafficking victim was 11-years-old, while the average age was 15.

“Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a prepared statement. ”Unfortunately, such crimes—against both adults and children—are far more common than most people realize. As we did in this operation, the FBI and our partners will continue to find and arrest traffickers, identify and help victims, and raise awareness of the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations.”

FBI Section Chief Jose Perez, who oversees violent crime, stated the importance of coordinating with local enforcement partners.

“The initiative really just takes a concentrated period of time when we’re just focused on the problem of child sex trafficking. What we do is we sit down with our local partners and our task forces and identify certain areas where we know sex trafficking is prevalent, and we’ll dedicate resources and efforts to identify and remove victims from those areas,” Perez said.

Close to 200 federal, state and local agencies have been involved in the operation, with the goal of collecting intelligence, building criminal cases against traffickers and providing assistance to victims.

Michelle DeLaune, who is the President and CEO National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, praised the operation in a prepared statement.

“The success of Operation Cross County reinforces what NCMEC sees every day. Children are being bought and sold for sex in communities across the country by traffickers, gangs and even family members,” DeLaune said.

She added, “We’re proud to support the FBI’s efforts to prioritize the safety of children. This national operation highlights the need for all child-serving professionals to continue to focus on the wellbeing of children and youth to prevent them from being targeted in the first place.”




The following two tabs change content below.
Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

Leave a Reply