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FBI says more than 100 juveniles rescued from trafficking in 'Operation Independence Day'

Nearly 70 suspected traffickers arrested
Posted at 5:42 AM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 08:42:14-04

The FBI says it saved more than 100 juveniles from sex trafficking and arrested nearly 70 traffickers on Wednesday as part of a monthlong sting.

The agency says 103 juveniles were "identified or recovered" and 67 suspected traffickers were arrested.

More than 400 law enforcement agencies participated in the initiative. According to the FBI, there were agents from every US state and some US territories working on the project.

Fourteen teens were rescued in Las Vegas — the most of any city. Thirty-three arrests were also made in the city.

Thirteen juveniles were rescued in Dallas, and nine were rescued in Detroit.

A video posted by the FBI shows numerous law enforcement agents scouring social media pages and escorts sites searching for possible incidents of sex trafficking.

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

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.