KANSAS CITY. Mo. (WIBW) -- The FBI's Kansas City Division says its agents helped save three teens and arrested 10 people during a four-day human trafficking sting conducted in 10 cities in Kansas and Missouri, including Topeka and Junction City.
On Wednesday, the agency announced the results of the combined operation by its Child Exploitation Task Force, which ran from October 12-15. It said three minors, ages 16-17, were recovered. Neither the teens nor the 10 people arrested were identified.
"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," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The arrests were just a part of Operation Cross Country XI, the FBI's nationwide effort to target human traffickers. In all, 84 minors were rescued and 120 traffickers arrested. As part of the operation, FBI agents and task force officers set up operations in hotels, casinos and truck stops, as well as on street corners and on the Internet.
The youngest person recovered in the operation was a 3-months-old baby who was being offered for sexual purposes, the FBI said.
The following agencies partnered with the FBI Kansas City during Operation Cross Country XI:
- Junction City, Kansas Police Department
- Geary County, Kansas Sheriff's Department
- Topeka, Kansas Police Department
- Riley County, Kansas Police Department
- Wichita, Kansas Police Department
- Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department
- Kansas City, MO Police Department
- Overland Park, Kansas Police Department
- Olathe, Kansas Police Department
- Independence, Missouri Police Department
- Homeland Security Investigations
- Lee's Summit, Missouri Police Department
- Riverside, Missouri Police Department
- North Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
- Exploited and Missing Child Unit - EMCU
"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."