KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW) -- A nationwide sex trafficking sting last month saved dozens of victims in western Missouri and Kansas, the Federal Bureau of Investigations announced Wednesday.
Thirty-five adults and two juveniles were rescued in the greater Kansas City-area alone, the agency said. Across the country, more than 100 children were found and 67 alleged sex traffickers were taken into custody.
“Commercial sex trafficking of minors is a continual problem, and thousands of children are exploited throughout our country for commercial sex. The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain dedicated every day to investigating these atrocious crimes committed against children” Supervisory Special Agent Craig Tremaroli, who oversees the FBI Kansas City Division’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force said.
The FBI explained its agents led 86 Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Forces on 161 operations in July as part of its Operation Independence Day. In all 400 agencies, including those in Kansas City, Overland Park, and Wichita, participated in the task forces.
“Enforcement operations such as this shine a spotlight on these heinous crimes which prey on our most vulnerable, our children," Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Netemeyer said.
Operation Independence Day worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline to identify missing children at risk of exploitation and then FBI agents worked with state and local law enforcement agencies to find them.