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Missouri AG announces successful multi-state human trafficking sting

MO AG Eric Schmitt
Posted at 9:32 AM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 10:34:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri agencies led a successful multi-state human trafficking bust, the details of which were announced Thursday.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the sting, dubbed Operation United Front, took place overnight Thursday and was coordinated by his office along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Operation United Front rescued 47 victims and sex workers across 12 states and led the arrest of 102 people.

Homeland Security, the FBI, and agencies from Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas joined Missouri agencies in the operation.

In Missouri, four victims were rescued, 11 other victims received services and two arrests were made.

Schmitt said two minors were rescued as part of the operation, but they were not in Missouri, which provided training for other agencies as needed.

Operation United Front was conducted simultaneously across all states, relying primarily on undercover officers arranging meet-ups with potential traffickers or victims.

"We believe this was the largest, most successful anti-trafficking operation in history," Schmitt said.

He said the goal now is to provide a victim-centric approach, focusing on getting resources to those rescued and prosecuting the traffickers.

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