FBI rescues more than 200 human trafficking victims during Operation Cross Country

FBI nationwide operation
Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 17:57:27-04

Human trafficking victims were located at the beginning of August by the FBI in over 391 operations conducted throughout the United States during a two-week period.

The FBI, working with its state and local partners, identified and located 84 victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation offenses during a nationwide enforcement campaign dubbed "Operation Cross Country."

According to a press release, FBI agents also located 37 actively missing children and 141 adult victims of human trafficking.

The FBI-led nationwide initiative, Operation Cross Country, focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking. The two-week national operation concentrated on investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex trafficking and human trafficking.

Investigators said the average age of victims located during this year's Operation Cross Country was 15, while the youngest victim located was 11 years old.

"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," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

"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," said Garland.

"Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

"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."