Victims of sex trafficking located in Northwest Arkansas during FBI operation

FBI agents in Fayetteville partnered with local advocacy organizations and several law enforcement agencies to find the underaged victims and arrest a suspect.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — As part of a nationwide operation focused on finding young human trafficking victims, authorities in Arkansas were able to locate two victims and arrest one alleged trafficker in the area.

According to the FBI, agents in Fayetteville partnered with local victim advocacy organizations and several law enforcement agencies to arrest the suspected trafficker and “apprehend” three people believed to have traveled or plan on traveling to Northwest Arkansas to “engage in unlawful sexual conduct with minors.”

The operation, known as Operation Cross Country, began on August 4 and spanned nationwide, resulting in finding 84 child victims of human trafficking and “rescuing 37 actively missing children,” the FBI said in a statement.

“Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Unfortunately, such crimes—against both adults and children—are far more common than most people realize. As we did in this operation, the FBI and our partners will continue to find and arrest traffickers, identify and help victims, and raise awareness of the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations.”

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In addition to locating victims, the operation identified a total of 85 suspects related to child sexual exploitation and human trafficking offenses.

Operation Cross Country also helped develop state and federal cases against child sex trafficking and human trafficking.

“The success of Operation Cross Country in Arkansas this year is a direct result of the enduring partnerships we share with local and state law enforcement,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson.

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“Without our partners, four alleged predators may have avoided justice and two human trafficking victims may not have received the assistance they desperately needed. We will continue to work with Arkansas police agencies to combat human trafficking and child exploitation throughout our state.”

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