FBI: In 3 Days, More Than 80 Children Rescued From Human Traffickers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reporting that between October 12th and October 15th its agents saved 84 children who were involved in child sex trafficking operations. 120 alleged sex traffickers were arrested in “Operation Cross Country XI” which was conducted across the country.
A 3-month-old girl, the youngest of the victims, was rescued along with a 5-year-old girl, the FBI said. Their suspected trafficker, authorities say, was a friend of the family who had offered an undercover officer sex with the girls for $600. The average age of the rescued victims was 15 years old, according to the FBI.
As part of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos, and truck stops, as well as on street corners and Internet websites.
“In order to stop this Human Trafficking growing problem, we need commercial businesses where victims are maliciously stored and housed to step up their efforts” says Michael Haggard, Managing Partner of The Haggard Law Firm. Haggard’s Firm has successfully litigated hundreds of cases against apartment complexes, hotels and other commercial business owners for negligent security and/or general premises liability matters that include wrongful death, catastrophic injury and even rape. Haggard believes businesses owners are an important line of defense in fighting the increasing number of human/sex trafficking victims. The numbers prove that to be true.
One of the most commonly reported venues for sex trafficking according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline is hotels and motels.A recent study by the organization shows that there were 1,434 cases of human trafficking and 294 cases of labor exploitation in hotels and motels between 2007 and 2015. (see graphic below by Polaris).
Haggard says “It is inexcusable for hotels, casinos, truck stops and apartment complexes to turn a blind eye to the recognizable signs of Human Trafficking occurring under their noses.”
This is the 11th iteration of the FBI-led Operation Cross Country (OCC), which took place this year in 55 FBI field offices and involved 78 state and local task forces, consisting of hundreds of law enforcement partners. This year’s coordinated operations took place with several international partners, including Canada (Operation Northern Spotlight), the United Kingdom (Aident 8), Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
VIDEO: Michael Haggard discusses premises liability and human trafficking following arrests in Jacksonville. (story first aired in May 2017)