A coalition of law enforcement agencies rescued seventy minors. Many were lured from their homes by online acquaintances and some were subjected to sexual exploitation.
A coalition of federal, state and local investigators rescued children as young as 10 from places like Midland, El Paso, Dallas, the state of Colorado and Juarez, Mexico. From late April to mid-May, the investigators followed leads from relatives. They scoured the internet to locate minors reported as runaways, wkbn reports.
Online acquaintances or predators spurred them to leave and officials tracked them online to catch them.
Some of the minors fled difficult situations at home, others walked away from foster families. Many others fell prey to people they communicated with online and lured them to leave.
The children are dependent on their host for food and housing. Some perverted adults take advantage.
MORE THAN HALF A MILLION CHILDREN GO MISSING EACH YEAR
More than half a million children go missing in the United States every year and some are never heard from again, investigators said, WKBN reports.
HSI El Paso, the Texas DPS and numerous other federal, state and local agencies located and recovered 70 missing children. This was a part of a three-week operation in West Texas.
OPERATION LOST SOULS
“Operation Lost Souls” ran from the end of April through mid-May in El Paso, Midland and Ector and Tom Green counties. The missing youth, many of them runaways, ranged in age from 10 to 17. The children recovered included victims of sex trafficking, and physical and sexual abuse. The majority of the children were located in West Texas, but some were located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex as well as the state of Colorado and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The agencies provided victim services and counseling to the recovered children and their families, according to Breaking 911.
“Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization. In this case, we are looking out for our children – our community’s most precious resource,” said HSI El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho.
One of the missing children was traced to Juarez; federal agents attached to diplomatic missions there found that minor and worked with the government of Mexico to bring her back to the U.S., officials said, according to border report.
Cartels crossing our borders freely are bringing more of this into our country. They are also taking children out of the country. We have wonderful men and women like these led by people who let more of these predators cross our borders each day. More than half a million go missing and it takes an enormous effort to find 70.