Multi-state operation rescues 47 victims of human trafficking
A multistate effort to combat human trafficking rescued 47 victims and made just over 100 arrests, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) said.
Operation United Front was a 12-state effort led by Schmidt’s office, and involved simultaneous state-level human trafficking operations between Thursday night and Friday morning, Schmitt’s office said in a statement.
The operations involved undercover officers arranging meet-ups with potential victims and rescuing them. Officers also posed as victims and arrested buyers or traffickers.
State and federal law enforcement agencies were able to rescue 47 victims, two of whom were minors, and arrest 102 people.
Schmitt said in a statement that the operation was “an unprecedented human trafficking operation that brought together law enforcement agencies from different jurisdictions – something that rarely happens.”
“When we all come together, we can affect change and more effectively fight human trafficking, a crime that is often multi-jurisdictional in nature,” he said.
Arrests were made in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Authorities in South Dakota also conducted an operation during the Sturgis Motorcycle rally in South Dakota which led to nine arrests.
The largest number of arrests was made in Kentucky, where 46 people were arrested. Twenty-one of the 47 victims were also rescued in Kentucky, including the two minors.
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