11 child victims of sexual exploitation rescued in Colorado in FBI operation

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Eleven child victims of sexual exploitation and 27 missing or endangered children were rescued in Colorado as part of a national FBI initiative.

Operation Cross Country focuses on locating child victims of sex trafficking while investigating and arresting sex traffickers, both individuals and criminal enterprises.

During the operation, FBI Denver, along with roughly 40 law enforcement agencies from across the Front Range, rescued and provided services to 11 child victims of sexual exploitation. Eleven adult victims of sexual exploitation were also rescued, FBI Denver announced Tuesday.

In addition, 27 missing or endangered children were found and offered services.

Law enforcement identified six traffickers, and two were arrested on unrelated felony warrants, according to FBI Denver.

“No person, let alone a child, should ever be exploited as an item for sale. Child sex traffickers often prey upon our community’s most vulnerable minors — runaways, foster kids, victims of abuse. The traffickers promise their young victims they will receive care and support when that couldn’t be further from the truth,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a press release. “FBI Denver’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force will continue to do everything it can to ensure children recovered from this kind of exploitation receive the services they need to move forward with their lives.”

The Denver field office located more victims than any other field office in the country, according to FBI Denver. The field office also tied for first in the number of subjects identified or arrested.

Nationally, 84 child victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation were rescued, and 37 missing children were located. Almost 150 adult victims of human trafficking were also rescued, according to the FBI.