Human trafficking operation in Missouri sees 5 men detained, 10 women offered assistance, and 3 children moved to protective custody

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The Oak Grove Police Department in Missouri posted a press release yesterday regarding the results of a sex trafficking sting they conducted in partnership with other organizations on October 23, 2020.

 

Working primarily with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Attorney General's Office Human Trafficking Task Force, five adult males were contacted and detained as a part of the ongoing investigation.

 

Due to the fact that the investigation remains ongoing, the police department did not give any further details about those that were detained.

 

Ten adult women were contacted and "offered victim services, including food, lodging, onsite medical services, counseling/therapy and drug rehabilitation."

 

Three children, all under the age of five were taken into protective custody and released to the Missouri Department of Social Services.

 

"Human Trafficking continues to be a problem in Missouri and across the United States and law enforcement in Oak Grove and around the state continue to take it seriously," the statement read.

 

Other organizations that cooperated with or assisted in the investigation were the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Johnson County Missouri Sheriff's Office, Saint Joseph, Missouri Police Department, Kansas City Missouri Police Department, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, IRS and the U.S. Marshal's Service.

 

Victim advocates from the RISE Coalition, Relentless Pursuit and Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition were also credited with involvement.

 

Las week Missouri's Attorney General Eric Schmitt launched The Hope Initiative which strives to crack down on human trafficking within the state of Missouri by specifically targeting illegal massage parlors.  As a result of the initiative's efforts, 23 such businesses had already been, or were in some phase of being evicted by their landlords.

 

Anyone that has information on human trafficking in their area, or suspects human trafficking is asked to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-8888.

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