The FBI found 200 victims of sex trafficking and arrested 126 suspects of child trafficking and child sexual exploitation in a large-scale operation dubbed “Operation Cross County.”
The two-week operation in July identified 59 minor victims of child sex trafficking and located 59 actively missing children.
“Sex traffickers exploit and endanger some of the most vulnerable members of our society and cause their victims unimaginable harm,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement.
He also applauded the FBI and its partner’s efforts in locating actively missing children while arresting suspects of child trafficking.
“This operation, which located 59 actively missing children, builds on the tremendous work the FBI has undertaken over many years to rescue minor victims and arrest those responsible for these unspeakable crimes,” Garland added.
“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners across the country to prevent human trafficking; increase detection, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking crimes; and expand support and services to protect and empower survivors.”
The nationwide initiative, spearheaded by the FBI in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), focused on locating and identifying victims of sex trafficking and apprehending those involved.
“Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable members of our society, and their crimes scar victims – many of them children – for life,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“The FBI’s commitment to combatting this threat will never waver, and we will continue to send our message that these atrocities will not be tolerated,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“This operation would not be possible without the commitment and collaboration from our state and local law enforcement partners, and it demonstrates our continued focus on actively pursuing the criminals responsible for these heinous violations and connecting those impacted with dedicated victim services and resources,” he added.
Libs of TikTok summed up the efforts in a tweet chastising the media for smearing the film as just a “Qanon conspiracy theory.”
The news comes on the heels of the huge success of the anti-child trafficking film Sound of Freedom, which undoubtedly brought awareness to the huge problem of child sex trafficking, and is now forcing agencies to act.
The film, starring Jim Caviezel, is also now playing in 3,411 theaters across America.
Angel Studios’ Jared Geesey said:
“Since Sound of Freedom launched in the U.S., demand has been building around the world in dozens of regions and languages. Child trafficking is a global issue, and we hope to build on the incredible momentum here in the States and share the film’s powerful message worldwide.”