Operation Lost Souls was a multi-agency operation that ran between the end of April and mid-May focusing on the El Paso, Midland, Ector and Tom Green counties.
"Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations' commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization," HSI El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho said. "In this case, we are looking out for our children- our community's most previous resource. HSI is committed to continue working with our law enforcement partners to locate, recover and help missing children heal, while ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for these heinous crimes and brought to justice."
During the operation, 70 children were recovered, "many of them runaways." They ranged in ages between 10 and 17-years-old.
The statement from HSI said that an unspecified number of the children recovered were "victims of sex trafficking, physical and sexual abuse."
The majority of the children were recovered from West Texas, but several were located within the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Others were located in Colorado and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Victim services and counseling have been provided to the children and their families according to the HSI statement.
Some of the partnering agencies included Advocacy Center for Children of El Paso, Paseo Del Norte Center for Hope, the El Paso Center for Children, Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center, Harmony Home Children's Advocacy Center, Memorial Hospital SANE Nurses, and Medical Center Hospital SANE Nurses.