The FBI has found more than 30 missing children, eight of whom were sexually exploited, in Los Angeles.
The US federal investigative service received assistance from various police forces in the Los Angeles area and dozens of local law enforcement agencies in Operation Lost Angels, which began on January 11, the FBI announced.
“The FBI views human trafficking as modern-day slavery, and minors engaged in commercial sex are considered victims,” said FBI Assistant Director Johnson. “While this operation has been very successful in a limited period, the FBI and our partners are investigating child sex trafficking every day of the year, around the clock.”
Two children were found several times at locations where street prostitution takes place. Several other victims that have been found have been sexually exploited in the past. One suspect of human trafficking has been arrested.
Some minors have also been arrested for probation violations, theft and some other crimes. A child had been kidnapped by one of his parents.
As of November 2020, more than 1,800 investigations into human trafficking are ongoing in the US, including cases involving minors who are sexually exploited. Currently, 86 FBI teams are engaged in child exploitation and human trafficking. Last year, 664 FBI trafficking investigations led to the arrest of 473 human traffickers.