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Authorities Find 33 Missing Children In Massive Human Trafficking Investigation Dubbed ‘Operation Lost Angels’

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Authorities Find 33 Missing Children In Massive Human Trafficking Investigation Dubbed 'Operation Lost Angels'KTLA

The FBI has tracked down 33 missing children as part of its ‘Operation Lost Angels’.

Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and more than two dozen local law enforcement agencies worked with federal agents to find the children, who had been involved in human trafficking.

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‘The FBI considers human trafficking modern day slavery and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims,’ FBI assistant director Johnson said in a statement.

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‘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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Eight of the 33 children who were recovered in the operation were being sexually exploited when authorities tracked them down. Several others had been sexually exploited in the past. Two of them were recovered multiple times while on the ‘track’, which is a term the FBI uses to describe a known location for commercial sex trafficking.

According to federal agents, it is fairly common for victims of sex trafficking to return, either voluntarily or by force.

‘This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation. Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realise they’re being trafficked,’ the statement explained.

Authorities Find 33 Missing Children In Massive Human Trafficking Investigation Dubbed 'Operation Lost Angels'KTLA
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Agents detained at least one of the suspected human traffickers, while some of the minor victims were also arrested for violating probation, as well as a number of other charges, including robbery and other misdemeanors.

One of the children was found to be a victim of noncustodial parental kidnapping.

Over the past several years, federal agents have seen a huge rise in the number of sex trafficking cases, with more than 1,800 investigations ongoing as of November last year.

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Topics: News, FBI, Human Trafficking, Los Angeles

Credits

FBI Los Angeles and 1 other
  1. FBI Los Angeles

    Multi-Day Joint Agency Operation 'Lost Angels' Leads to the Recovery of 33 Missing Children During Trafficking Awareness Month

  2. KTLA

    Lost Angels

Emma Rosemurgey
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