According to the Daily Caller, "the two-week initiative has been running for 13 years, and involves a slew of federal, state, local agencies and nonprofits committed to finding missing children, suspected victims and perpetrators of child sex crimes." The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) partnered with the FBI for the operation, which "focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex and human trafficking."
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: "Sex traffickers exploit and endanger some of the most vulnerable members of our society and cause their victims unimaginable harm. This operation, which located 59 actively missing children, builds on the tremendous work the FBI has undertaken over many years to rescue minor victims and arrest those responsible for these unspeakable crimes."
Meanwhile, FBI Director Christopher Wray said: "Human trafficking is a grave violation of human rights that preys on the most vulnerable members of our society. The FBI's actions against this threat never waver as we continue to send our message that these atrocities will not be tolerated."
"Behind every statistic, there is a person with dreams, aspirations and the right to live a life free from child sex trafficking and exploitation," NCMEC President and CEO Michelle DeLaune said in a statement. "As a society, we must work together to ensure the protection, support and empowerment of those impacted by this heinous crime."
The FBI conducted 391 nationwide operations during the 2022 edition of Operation Cross Country, according to an article on the bureau's website. It located a total of 141 adult victims and 84 underage victims, for a total of 225 rescued. The 2022 edition of the operation also located 37 missing children. (Related: Human trafficking victims in America could be as many as 17,500 annually.)
Incidentally, the FBI's Aug. 1 announcement followed the release of "Sound of Freedom." The film, which starred Jim Caviezel of "The Passion of the Christ" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" fame, centers on an anti-child sex trafficking team that saved countless children across Latin America. Mainstream media (MSM) outlets were quick to smear the movie as promoting a "QAnon conspiracy theory."
The MSM outlets that published hit pieces against the film include Rolling Stone, NPR, Salon, Jezebel and ABC News. Even the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper joined in the fray. Incidentally, the pieces they released were "all shockingly similar in nature" – they dismissed child sex trafficking as nothing but a conspiracy theory.
The Daily Caller's Kay Smythe could not help but comment on this concerted effort to smear "Sound of Freedom." She wrote: "It is still unclear why all of these corporate media outlets basically published the same hit piece against the movie, and why their writers were so comfortable saying that child sex trafficking isn't real."
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