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NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. – A sting on the sex-trafficking trade in metro Atlanta netted dozens of arrests and the rescue of dozens of children forced into sexual servitude, the FBI announced this week.

Operation Safe Summer was a collaborative effort between the FBI’s Atlanta field office and 38 law enforcement agencies in six metro counties, assistant Special Agent in Charge Matt Alcoke told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.

The article goes on to state the following:

“They are crimes of special concern to the FBI and to law enforcement generally,” Alcoke said. “Because the victims are so vulnerable as children and because the offenders could be from just about any walk of life, from a gang member all the way up to someone who is highly successful and wealthy.”

The sting ended with nearly 160 children rescued, including one as young as 3 years old, and nearly 150 arrests, convictions or sentences, officials said.

Alcoke said the operation was scheduled before the summer months as a way to put a dent in a trade that preys on children at a time when they have more freedom.

Below is the press release published by the FBI:

ATLANTA—Murang Pak, Acting Special Agent in Charge (A/SAC), FBI Atlanta Field Office, announces the results of Operation Safe Summer (OSS), a collaborative effort by 38 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, led by the FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH).

From May 1, 2018 to May 25, 2018 the operation’s goal was to combat child exploitation and child sex trafficking and make our community safer for our children heading into the summer months.

Results of Operation Safe Summer:

149 Missing/exploited children were identified and/or located (children ages 3-17)

158 Judicial actions (arrests/citations/indictments/sentencing)

1,674 Total law enforcement contacts (compliance checks, law enforcement operations, warrants)

OSS was conducted near the start of the summer season to raise awareness and send an important message at a time the community’s children are most vulnerable to becoming targets for exploitation.

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