33 missing kids recovered in joint Los Angeles-based operation combating human trafficking

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Fox news – Nearly three-dozen missing children have been recovered in Southern California during a recent Los Angeles-based operation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Friday.

During January, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the FBI worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and more than two-dozen law enforcement and non-governmental partners to identify, locate and recover missing children, particularly those who have been or were suspected of being sexually exploited and/or trafficked.

Nearly three-dozen missing children have been recovered in Southern California during a recent Los Angeles-based operation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced.

During January, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the FBI worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and more than two-dozen law enforcement and non-governmental partners to identify, locate and recover missing children, particularly those who have been or were suspected of being sexually exploited and/or trafficked.

Of the children recovered, eight were being sexually exploited at the time of recovery. Two were recovered multiple times during the operation while on the “track,” a term commonly used to describe a known location for commercial sex trafficking, Johnson said.

Several of the victims had been sexually exploited in the past and were considered vulnerable missing children prior to their recovery. Additionally, the operation resulted in the arrest on state charges of one suspected human trafficker and the opening of multiple investigations. Some of the minor victims were arrested for probation violations, robbery or other misdemeanors, and one child was a victim of a non-custodial parental kidnapping, according to the FBI.

The FBI caseload for both sex and labor trafficking-related crimes has increased significantly in the past several years. As of November, there were more than 1,800 pending trafficking investigations including those involving minors exploited through commercial sex trafficking, according to the agency.

“The FBI considers human trafficking modern day slavery and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims,” said Assistant Director Johnson. “While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.”

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