A 12-state anti-human trafficking initiative dubbed as Operation United Front netted 102 suspects and freed 59 victims, including at least two minors, according to investigators in each of the states.

Fox News reported that the states involved in operation United Front include Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. The operation involved attorney generals from all 12 states, along with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.

In many of the jurisdictions, undercover officers set up "dates" with suspected human trafficking victims to extract them from captivity. They met up and rescued them, according to authorities. Some of the officers also posed as victims to arrest the alleged traffickers.

Roughly two-thirds of the victims required medical treatment and almost half of the suspects were arrested in Kentucky – 46.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that one in four victims of human trafficking or modern-day slavery are children – and most are forced laborers, including forced sex workers, who are women and girls.

Drew Evans, Superintendent for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that the exploitation and repeated victimization of children, women as well as men must end, reassuring that although the operation has been completed, their work is not over. She pledged to continue tracking down and arresting human traffickers.

Daniel Cameron, the Attorney General for Kentucky said that they know that human trafficking goes beyond county and state lines, and multistate efforts like Operation United Front are essential to addressing the crisis in the country. He added that every arrest made leads to one less human trafficker in society and sends a message that the law will not allow any person to exploit another through labor and sex trafficking.

Eric Schmitt, the Attorney General for Missouri said that the investigators organized and helped train officers for the operation.

He added that his state’s anti-human trafficking task force is a national leader in bringing traffickers to justice.

Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said in a statement that Operation United Front is a great example of creating a better and safer Kentucky, one that is free of this hideous crime.

United States Border Patrol agents
Migrants, who were detained trying to cross into the United States undetected, wait to be searched by United States Border Patrol agents in Sunland Park, New Mexico on September 1, 2021. Photo by Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.