FBI nationwide sex trafficking investigation leads to identification of 84 underage victims

The FBI announced on Monday that a law enforcement effort to assist victims of sex trafficking and arrest those responsible for running these criminal enterprises has resulted in the identification of 84 underage victims across the country, including two in Kansas City.

Dubbed “Operation Cross Country,” the initiative involved coordinating with local and state agencies in early August. It led to the arrest of 85 people suspected of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

In Kansas City, area field agents found two teenage victims. According to the FBI, 12 other adult victims were found and offered services locally.

In a report, FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoubof the Kansas City office, said “there is no greater mission than to protect our country’s children from evil.”

“The FBI is committed and will always remain committed to ensuring their safety,” Dayoub said. “Operation Cross Country has a dual mission: to target traffickers who wish to harm our children, but also to identify resources and help offer these victims a way out of a cycle of abuse.

The operation was carried out by FBI agents, intelligence analysts, victim specialists and forensic investigators. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Childrena non-profit agency, also provided assistance to law enforcement.

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