SAN DIEGO — The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s San Diego Division located at least 17 potential human trafficking victims, including one child, as part of a nationwide operation, the agency announced Tuesday.
Operation Cross Country, an FBI-led initiative to identify and locate sex trafficking victims across the country, located 37 missing children and 141 adults nationwide, FBI officials said.
FBI San Diego worked with the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force to coordinate with 10 local law enforcement agencies during the two-week operation, a news release said.
The agencies the partnered with the FBI San Diego Division include:
- San Diego Police Department
- San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
- National City Police Department
- Chula Vista Police Department
- Escondido Police Department
- San Diego Unified Police Department
- Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s San Diego office
- San Diego County Probation Department
- California Department of Justice
- San Diego County Child Welfare Services
“We are proud to have worked alongside our law enforcement partners in our efforts against these horrific crimes. The FBI will continue to investigate all human trafficking, as we do each and every day, to ensure the victims receive the resources and assistance they need, and their traffickers are held accountable,” said a quote attributed to Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Field Office.
Investigators nationwide identified or arrested 85 suspects of child sexual exploitation or human trafficking offenses.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average age of the victims located in similar operations is approximately 15.5 years old, while the youngest victim found as part of Operation Cross Country was 11 years old.