FBI operation rescues 168 children from sex trafficking, puts nearly 300 pimps behind bars

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A crackdown on child sex trafficking hits close to home. The FBI in Kansas City revealed the results of an investigation Monday, noting that nationwide 50 percent more kids were rescued this year than last.

But authorities say the work to end trafficking is far from over. Often times people think of sex trafficking as a foreign issue, but those in the know say it happens in your own backyard more than you think.

One of the girls picked up in this sweep was picked up right here in Kansas City. Nationally, hundreds of law enforcement agencies participated, resulting in 168 children being recovered and nearly 300 pimps getting arrested.

Another victim was also picked up in Wichita and seven pimps from the region were arrested. The Justice Project assisted with the operation and received the rescued girls.

“We've got folks here that have been where you have been. We know what it's like to suffer from all of these things,” said Justice Project executive director Kris Wade.

“A lot of these children come from areas where they're just not secure about their surroundings. They feel like they're not belonging to something,” said FBI special agent in charge Michael Kaste.

Authorities don’t know how many more kids could be in peril. That's why the community is asked to be vigilant. To know what to look out for, click on these links:

FBI on human trafficking

Hiding in Plain Sight

The Justice Project KC

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  • Francisco Palacios

    This Monsters need to be put on the electric chair without compassion, why do we need to be keeping them in jail costing us more money to support them…no mercy for them they have no mercy for our kids …

    • SheepODoom (@sheepodoom)

      Good question Anther Good question is after having these “rescues” for the last 20-40 years why has there not been ONE Girl to step up claim she was one of the “rescued”? The answer is simple it’s all propaganda to get more draconian laws & feed the minds of people like Francisco Palacios.

      • Tina

        Why would any woman or girl want to come forward and draw attention to the fact that they were in prostitution? Whether they were coerced or forced into it, it still has a very negative connotation and young women would not want to draw attention to themselves.

      • Sammy

        You evidently don’t know anyone that works in social services and comes home with tears in their eyes night after night of trying to help these broken women. It is easier for you to live in s bubble and deny the brokenness .

      • Sandee

        Actually- they may not want to go public. These girls need a fresh start and out of the public eye. Should they plaster the victims of all crimes??? These predators will be released one day- their victims will be living in fear of retaliation for the rest of their lives from a pissed off pimp that they helped put away… I know a girl that has had to live with that fear – your comment is ignorant!

  • Ross

    It’s good they caught them but let’s think about this for minute. There wouldn’t be a supply if there wasn’t a demand. Not only do we need to help law enforcement catch the pimps and rescue the kids but let’s help them put the “Johns” in jail as well.

  • Larry Empson

    I work with a human trafficking charity and today we celebrate and yet the burden is still there. I know we say, “until they all come home”, for Vietnam Vets, I think this saying could be used for sex trafficking as well. This is just a start, it is a world problem. I would like to say, “Thank You” to those who tirelessly work day and night to stop this. As we wipe the tears from our eyes, it’s time to go back to work. Thank God for all you.

  • Kate


    I’ve recently been blessed with opportunity to change myself and to help change the world.

    Love Runs is a local charity committed to rescuing and restoring victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. Sex slavery has become more profitable than drugs or gambling for organized crime; while drugs can be sold and used only once, victims can be used for profit over and over again. In this ugly and evil world of trafficking, bodies are nothing more than commodities.

    Michigan ranks 2nd only to Nevada in the trafficking, kidnapping, and exploitation of persons; forcing them into prostitution and other forms of modern day slavery.

    I was training for the 1/2 marathon with the Love Runs RidgeRunner team when I sustained an injury, which lead to yet another MS flare up. Neither injury nor illness is going to keep me from pressing on to reach the end of the race to receive the prize to which I’ve been called (Philippians 3:14).

    My training in heat or cold, rain or sun, with and without a walker in no way can compare to the hell these victims live day in and day out. There are 1440 minutes in every day. That is the same number of minutes that they are enslaved and you and I are free. 1440 is also the dollar amount that I have been asked to raise for this worthy cause.

    Please help me to make an impact in the lives of those enslaved. Together we can make a difference.

    Please consider checking out my page (link provided at bottom) for further information. Please consider making a donation in support of me and a cause in great need of attention, funding, and resources.
    Please visit my fundraising page at:https://www.socialply.com/fundraisers/2234

    Thank you!

    To God be the glory,

    Kate Ferguson Racalto

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  • Choose Your Words Wisely

    Hey FBI, stop saying child prostitution!! It’s child rape – plain and simple. They are rape victims. Prostitution connotes a willing participant and oftentimes places the blame on the prostitute. There is absolutely no such thing as a child prostitute.

  • Shelli

    I’m thinking they missed a very good piece to this. There are several people from Dover Delaware that were offering fun trips there all exclusive and free. Back and forth many times. I know for a fact they are high rolling pimps. To bad thy Keep getting through the tracks.