3 minor victims recovered in NC after month-long sweep targeting sex traffickers

Three minor victims were recovered in NC during the FBI's month-long Operation Independence Day program which targeted sex traffickers, according to the FBI Charlotte Division.

Two operations were led in NC: one in Charlotte and one in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area.

Overall, 103 children were recovered and 67 sex traffickers were arrested.

Operation Independence Day, a revamp of a previously successful program, was executed through July and 161 operations were conducted nationwide, the FBI says.

The operation relied on 86 FBI-led child exploitation and human trafficking task forces and more than 400 agencies participated in these task forces.

The FBI says a major element in all trafficking cases is the placement of victim specialists on operational teams.

Their mission is to provide victims with resources to help them in their situations, but they also frequently serve as intermediaries between victim-witnesses and investigators.

“The FBI is fiercely focused on recovering child victims and arresting the sex traffickers who exploit them,” said Christopher Wray, the FBI Director. “Through operations like this, the FBI helps child victims escape the abusive life of sex trafficking.”

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