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Gov. Beshear: 21 victims rescued in Kentucky as part of human trafficking sting, 46 arrested

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Sep 01, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — 21 victims, including two minors, were rescued as part of a multistate human trafficking sting carried out Aug. 26 by 29 agencies across Kentucky.

46 people were also arrested as part of Operation United Front. The 12-state human trafficking operation is believed to be the first multistate operation of its kind.

Kentucky conducted four trafficking operations simultaneously in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, McCracken County, and Northern Kentucky. The Kentucky State Police (KSP) organized and led the commonwealth's effort.

Officials in participating states rescued a total of 59 victims, providing needed medical services to 41, and arrested 102 suspects across the country in connection with human trafficking. Each state conducted its own operation simultaneously.

Results from Operation United Front by state:

  • Missouri: Two arrests made, four victims rescued
  • Illinois: Three arrests made, one victim rescued
  • Iowa: Three arrests made, 10 victims rescued
  • Kentucky: 46 arrests made, 21 victims rescued (including two minor victims)
  • Minnesota: Three arrests made, eight victims rescued
  • Nebraska: Seven arrests made
  • North Dakota: Three arrests made, six victims rescued
  • Oklahoma: 13 arrests made, one victim rescued
  • Tennessee: Six arrests made, two victims rescued
  • Texas: Two arrests made, four victims rescued
  • Wisconsin: Five arrests made

South Dakota previously conducted a weeklong operation during the Sturgis Biker Rally and arrested nine people.

If you are suspicious of any children involved in the commercial sex trade, contact the Department for Community Based Services at 1-877-KYSAFE1 and to local law enforcement. Other concerns about possible trafficking activities should be reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.