• Lynda Cohen

Atlantic City police part of national operation focusing on human trafficking

Updated: May 24

25 arrests in Atlantic City and 120 nationwide

Atlantic City police helped arrest 24 women and one man in an FBI-led national investigation into focusing on human trafficking. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children  announced today said 84 minors were recovered and 120 traffickers arrested as part of the four-day Operation Cross Country XI that ended Sunday. The youngest victim was just 3 months old. The average age was 15. Atlantic City’s Special Investigations Section was a participant. Atlantic County also has a task for consisting of multiple agencies that goes around regularly looking for missing children and trafficking victims. In its 11th year, the operation involved 55 FBI field offices and 78 state and local task forces, consisting of hundreds of law enforcement partners. “We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation’s children from harm. Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested—and the number of children recovered—reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “This operation isn’t just about taking traffickers off the street. It’s about making sure we offer help and As part of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos and truck stops, as well as on street corners and Internet websites. Minors recovered during Cross Country Operations are offered assistance from state protective services and the FBI’s Victim Services Division. Depending on the level of need, victims are offered medical and mental health counseling, as well as a number of other services. “Child sex trafficking is happening in every community across America, and at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we’re working to combat this problem every day,” said NCMEC President and CEO John Clark. “We’re proud to work with the FBI on Operation Cross Country to help find and recover child victims. We hope OCC generates more awareness about this crisis impacting our nation’s children.” The FBI in Denver recovered a 3-month-old girl and a 5-year-old girl, after a friend of the girls’ family offered an undercover officer access to the girls for sexual purposes in exchange for $600. Operation Cross Country XI is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003 and has yielded more than 6,500 child identifications and locations. For additional information on Operation Cross Country XI and the Innocence Lost initiative, please visit www.fbi.gov.

#humantrafficking

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