FBI recovers human trafficking victims, including children,

The FBI along with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners have recovered multiple victims of sex trafficking, including a 16-year-old girl who was being trafficked by her father in exchange for drugs, in a recent coordinated campaign.

Another victim, a minor, had been reported missing by her foster family and was found in a hotel with a known trafficker, according to an FBI news release.

The operation in Colorado recovered eight juveniles and 19 adults from sex trafficking, according to a release on a recent nationwide effort, Operation Cross Country.

More than 40 agencies and organizations in Colorado participated in the recent coordinated nationwide enforcement effort. Additionally, five suspected traffickers were arrested and eight other suspected traffickers were identified for further investigation.

“The initiative, in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 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,” a news release said.

Nationally, the FBI identified and located 84 minor victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation offenses and located 37 actively missing children in the campaign. The Denver task force is one of 89 nationwide.

“Child sex trafficking exists here, in our community,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek stated in the release. “Our multidisciplinary team and intelligence-driven approach continues to be successful in recovering children who have been victimized by traffickers. We will never stop in our efforts to bring child sex traffickers to justice and help victims get to a safe place and receive the services they need.”

The Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force operates year-round, and the FBI encourages the public to help in identifying victims and in turn bringing perpetrators to justice. Anyone who is a victim of human trafficking or who believes they have information about a potential trafficking incident can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733.

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