Washington, April 20: Authorities in Minnesota detained 58 people this weekend for offering or contracting sex with minors and other victims of human trafficking.
Undercover agents were passed on during the weekend or by minors offering sex or by potential customers.
“During the operation, the suspects chatted on various social networks with undercover agents and investigators, and the investigators detained the suspects when they reached a point they had agreed on for the meeting,” the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported.
During the operation 47 people were arrested for contracting sex with minors and 11 for offering it. The first ones are accused of soliciting prostitution with minors, while the second group commits crimes of trafficking in persons and pimping.
In addition, 28 people were “rescued” from exploitative situations, including a minor.
“This operation is an example of the aggressive steps needed to stop traffickers and customers who buy and sell people by sex in our communities,” said Superintendent Drew Evans of the Department of Public Safety.
“We can not let this crime continue, and we must work together to stop it,” he added.
Agents from 33 law enforcement agencies participated in the operation supported by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The operation coincided with the celebration of the final four of the men’s basketball tournament of the National Association of University Sports (NCAA) that was held in Minneapolis, the main city of the state.
It is common for authorities to develop operations against trafficking in persons during major sporting events.
During the last Super Bowl held in early February in Atlanta, the FBI detained 169 people over an eleven-day period, including 24 pimps.
In addition, he rescued nine minors from trafficking networks, the youngest being 14 years old, and nine other people. EFEUSA