Forty-seven people have been rescued during part of a major human trafficking law enforcement operation.
The investigation also led to the arrest of 102 people across 12 states. According to The Christian Post, two of the victims are minors.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol spearheaded the operation, known as “Operation United Front.”
“Operation United Front was an unprecedented human trafficking operation that brought together law enforcement agencies from different jurisdictions – something that rarely happens,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.
“When we all come together, we can affect change and more effectively fight human trafficking, a crime that is often multi-jurisdictional in nature.”
Arrests and rescues were made in Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
Nine of the arrests in South Dakota were made for alleged involvement in human trafficking while attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Eight of the nine men arrested face charges of attempting to entice a minor using the Internet. One is facing charges of attempted commercial sex trafficking of a minor.
If found guilty for attempted enticement of a minor via the Internet, the penalty could be 10 years to life in prison. If found guilty for the commercial sex trafficking charge, the penalty ranges from 15 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Operation United Front is the latest effort this year to successfully lead to arrests in human trafficking operations.
In March, “Operation Cupid” in Texas led to the arrests of about 30 people, and in February in Arizona, police arrested 37 people connected with child sex crimes and human trafficking in “Operation Broke Hearts.”
Finally, in January, 33 missing children in California were rescued as part of “Operation Lost Angels.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alessandro Photo
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.