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9 human trafficking victims rescued during FBI sting in SoCal

Nine potential human trafficking victims, including five minors, were rescued during an FBI sting in Southern California, authorities announced Wednesday.

“The FBI-led initiative focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex trafficking and human trafficking,” officials said in a news release.

Operation Cross Country XII was made up of experts, more than 200 state, local and federal officials and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and conducted stings over a two-week period.

The FBI Los Angeles Field Office and the FBI Los Angeles Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force coordinated with the Los Angeles, Pomona and Santa Maria police departments, along with the L.A. and Ventura County sheriff’s departments and the Department of Children and Family Services.

“Human trafficking and child exploitation are insidious crimes, and the impact on victims is immeasurable,” said Amir Ehsaei, assistant director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Division. “However, with strong partnerships forged between outstanding service providers and law enforcement, we can ensure victims receive the services they need, and the perpetrators of such unspeakable activity are brought to justice.”

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