A task force led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, recently recovered 31 missing children in the North Texas area.
The North Texas Trafficking Task Force conducted a joint law-enforcement operation with the U.S. Marshalls in early February. The aim of the operation was to locate children reported missing through the National Crime Information Center database and other law enforcement agencies.
For one month, task force analysts and special agents discovered six missing children who were considered at high risk of being sex trafficked, five runaways, and 20 children who were either returned home or to the juvenile facility on record.
"While this joint operation lasted approximately 30 days, HSI Dallas will continue working relentlessly to identify & recover missing children who become vulnerable to human traffickers across the North Texas region," said HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin. "Our continued collaboration with our local, state and federal law-enforcement partners and non-governmental organizations is vital to combatting this global epidemic."
The North Texas Trafficking Task Force was created to combat human trafficking and rescue victims of trafficking in the region. The Dallas/Fort Worth metro area is among the nation's top five locations for criminal arrests for human trafficking.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also conducted five "No Safe Haven" operations since 2014 focused on known and suspected human rights violators.