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FBI: 2-week cross-country sex trafficking operation ends with 84 kids saved, 85 arrests

During two weeks in August, Operation Cross Country helped identify and locate 84 minors who were victims of sex trafficking nationwide.

HOUSTON — The FBI, along with state and local authorities across the country, rescued nearly 100 minor victims of sex trafficking during a two-week operation in August.

Operation Cross Country is a nationwide initiative "focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex trafficking and human trafficking," the FBI said.

According to the FBI, three children were found in the Houston area. No other details were released about the cases.

By the numbers

  • 84 victims of child sex trafficking and child exploitation offenses found
  • 37 actively missing children found
  • 141 adult victims of human trafficking found
  • 85 suspects were arrested for child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses
  • 15.5 years old was the average age of victims found
  • 11 years old was the youngest victim found

“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,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “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.”

During the two-week period, the FBI worked with more than 200 state, local and federal partners, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to "arrest traffickers, identify and help victims, and raise awareness of the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations," FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

The FBI said 391 individual operations were conducted over the 14-day span.

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