As part of the “Operation Lost Angels” investigation, 33 children have been rescued in Southern California. Among the 33 rescued, two youths have been found multiple times at different commercial sex-trafficking locations.
This 10-day operation involved the collaboration of more than two dozen law enforcement agencies. These agencies ultimately helped identify, locate, and return the missing children. During the time of recovery, eight children were being sexually exploited, and two had already been recovered while on the “track”. According to USA Today, the term “track” is “used to describe a known location for commercial sex trafficking”.
Kristi Johnson is the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. Johnson explained that victims who are rescued from commercial sex trafficking often return to this environment by force, fraud or coercion. Furthermore, several of the victims rescued had been sexually exploited prior to the “Operation Lost Angels” recovery.
Following this operation, one individual has been arrested, while multiple other criminal investigations were opened. USA Today noted that some of the minor victims were arrested for probation violations, robbery or other misdemeanors, while one of the children found was a victim of noncustodial parental kidnapping.
After the children were found, the FBI worked alongside other agencies to provide resources. These resources include immediate medical requirements, legal services, housing, employment, education, job training, and child care.
According to USA Today, “In fiscal year 2020, the FBI initiated 664 human trafficking investigations nationwide, resulting in the arrests of 473 traffickers”.
Original Article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/01/24/33-missing-children-found-operation-lost-angels-what-we-know/6693223002/
Source: USA Today