UPDATED 11:50 AM PT – Saturday, August 28, 2021
A multi-state operation to tackle the problem of human trafficking has ended in more than a hundred arrests. Missouri’s top officials arrested 102 people in the rescue of 47 victims, two of which are minors.
Authorities said the months long investigation ended on Friday morning as part of a 12-state effort to crackdown on human trafficking. Missouri Attorney Gen. Eric Schmitt announced the operation couldn’t have succeeded without the help from local, state and federal agencies from all of the 12 states involved.
Undercover law enforcement posed as victims to identify buyers and traffickers, while state and local agencies arranged meetings with potential victims. “When we all come together, we can affect change and more effectively fight human trafficking, a crime that often is multi-jurisdictional in nature,” said Schmitt.
Earlier today, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office led 11 other states in Operation United Front, rescuing 47 and arresting 102 – this is a testament to what can happen when we all work together. pic.twitter.com/4DtvmQ7W1d
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) August 28, 2021
Schmitt added this investigation is just one of many of the long ongoing processes this type of case takes and said there would be operations like “United Front” in the future. He went on to say this success not only comes from the teamwork of multi-state agencies, but also between businesses.
He said with the other 11 states coming together and their coordination to execute at the same time, this operation should set the bar for other states to model human trafficking cases in the future.