Trafficking Rescue Operation Ends in Over 20 Arrests

Human Trafficking Operation Shut Down

( – When many people think about human trafficking, their thoughts turn to countries south of the Rio Grande or other foreign lands. However, it’s important to be aware that it can and does happen within US borders. A recent report discussed law enforcement officials’ successful effort to shut down a trafficking operation in the US.

On Thursday, March 24, The Utah County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release discussing the outcome of a mid-February joint human trafficking rescue operation. The law enforcement agency worked from February 14 to 17 to conduct the rescue effort aided by officials from the US Department of Homeland Security, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, and multiple nearby unified police departments.

Although rescuing victims of human or sex trafficking was the main focus of the operation, participating agencies arrested 21 suspects for various charges related to trafficking and drug possession. Three of the individuals traveled over long distances, allegedly to meet underage children for sex. Law enforcement officials found rope, lingerie, and other materials in one’s possession while taking him into custody.

A forensic examination of data stored on multiple cell phones identified other possible victims and suspects. Investigators also found a witness and hope to gather additional information regarding additional victims.

The press release concluded, noting that the investigation remains open and sheriff’s office officials hope to locate and rescue others.

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