178 Arrests Made After The Biggest Investigation Into Child Trafficking In Florida History

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178 Arrests Made After The Biggest Investigation Into Child Trafficking In Florida History

178 people have been arrested after what was the largest ever investigation into child and sex-trafficking in Florida history. The 2 year long investigation sought to take down those involved in the illegal sex trade and bring them to justice for their despicable crimes.

The investigation, codenamed 'Operation Stolen Innocence', began when police were tipped off that a 13-year-old girl was being trafficked for sex by her mother who was paid in both money and drugs. From that single investigation detectives were able to discover a huge web of illegal activity.

While arrests have been ongoing for months, these were hidden from the public to avoid tipping off those involved in these crimes, which could have seen them destroy evidence or flee the state. In total, 106 people were charged with felonies, including sex-trafficking and sex with a minor, while another 72 were charged with an array of misdemeanours that included solicitation of a consenting individual. Among those arrested are a local public official and a high-school P.E. teacher.

Chief Lawrence Revell of the Florida State police said of the arrests:

"The arrests in this operation are the culmination of the diligent work from our dedicated investigators, who have worked tirelessly to bring justice to the victims in this case. I cannot say enough about the work that you all did and how proud I am of each of you."

It is thought that as many as 50,000 people a year are trafficked into the United States to work in the sex-industry. While numbers can never be exact for activity, usually kept in strict secrecy it is estimated that as many as 300,000 children in the United States are at risk of commercial sex exploitation. In 2017 in Texas alone, it was believed that almost 80,000 children were being exploited within the illegal sex-industry.

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Thinking Humanity: 178 Arrests Made After The Biggest Investigation Into Child Trafficking In Florida History
178 Arrests Made After The Biggest Investigation Into Child Trafficking In Florida History
178 people have been arrested after what was the largest ever investigation into child and sex-trafficking in Florida history. The 2 year long investi
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