The FBI found 200 sex trafficking victims and more than 125 suspects during a two-week child exploitation operation in July, federal officials said Tuesday.
During "Operation Cross County," the FBI located 59 victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation and 59 missing children.
The FBI teamed with state and local agencies to identify or arrest 126 suspects of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking and 68 suspected traffickers.
“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. “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.
The FBI-led initiative in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) "focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex and human trafficking," federal officials said.
“Behind every statistic, there is a person with dreams, aspirations, and the right to live a life free from child sex trafficking and exploitation," NCMEC President and CEO Michelle DeLaune said in a statement. "As a society, we must work together to ensure the protection, support, and empowerment of those impacted by this heinous crime.”