FBI announces 32 arrests in connection to sex trafficking; rescues 5 minor victims

A national operation led by the FBI has resulted in the location and recovery of five minors in the Valley believed to be victims of sex trafficking.

In a press release from the FBI Phoenix Bureau, officials said on Tuesday morning that agents had identified and located five minors in the area who had been sexually exploited.

Moreover, as part of the operation, 31 people were arrested for allegedly trying to have sexual contact with minors and one suspected trafficker was also taken into custody. The identities of the arrested individuals were not released by the FBI.

This investigation and arrests were part of a larger national operation called “Operation Cross County,” which focused on finding victims of sex trafficking. According to the FBI, police officers from Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, and Tempe contributed to the investigation.

Across the United States, 126 people were arrested as suspects of sexual exploitation, 68 were arrested due to allegations of trafficking and 59 minors were located during the operation.

“The FBI remains steadfast in its commitment to combatting child exploitation and human trafficking. Operation Cross Country is just one facet of the Bureau's ongoing efforts to protect the most vulnerable members of society and hold offenders accountable,” according to the release.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: FBI announces arrests in connection to sex trafficking in the Valley