KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twenty-two individuals were arrested after a human trafficking operation in Independence from April 25-26.
Initiated by Homeland Security Investigations Kansas City, the operation “focused on identifying and rescuing victims who were being trafficked for sexual exploitation,” per the Independence Police Department.
Undercover officers with IPD and HSI used social media to pose as “sex buyers” and chat with suspects.
When the suspects arrived at a pre-arranged meeting place for a scheduled encounter, authorities arrested 22 individuals and rescued two victims.
“When individuals think of human trafficking, it often conjures up images of popular Hollywood movies that usually take place overseas, but in actuality, this crime is happening right here in the Heartland,” Taekuk Cho, HSI’s Acting Special Agent in Charge for KC-area operations, said in a news release. “That’s why educating the community on what human trafficking looks like, the efforts HSI and our law enforcement partners are making to eradicate the crime, and how to report it is so vitally important.”
To report crimes, suspicious activity or suspected trafficking, contact the HSI Tipline at 866-347-2423.