An FBI-led investigation called “Operation Cross Country” resulted in the location of 84 minors who the Department of Justice said were victims of child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation. More than three-dozen actively missing children were reportedly found in that nationwide search, the New York Daily News reports. FBI Director Christopher Wray called human trafficking one of the “most heinous” crimes the agency deals with and vowed to continue battling sexual exploitation. “Unfortunately, such crimes — against both adults and children — are far more common than most people realize,” Wray said.
In addition to identifying adolescent victims, the feds said they helped locate more than 140 adult victims of human trafficking. The youngest victim discovered during Operation Cross Country was said to be 11 years old. “Agents and investigators also identified or arrested 85 suspects of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses,” the Justice Department added. Agents teamed up with 200 state, local and federal partners, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to conduct 391 operations over a two-week period in August. News of Operation Cross Country’s success comes as right-wing politicians including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have called for the FBI to be dismantled after its search of former President Trump’s Florida estate.