UPDATED 8:41 AM PT – Sunday, January 24, 2021
A joint agency investigation led to the rescue of 33 missing children in Los Angeles, California. The FBI announced the rescue on Friday as part of a multi-organizational human trafficking investigation dubbed “Lost Angels.”
Multi-Day Joint Agency Operation ‘Lost Angels’ Leads to the Recovery of 33 Missing Children During Trafficking Awareness Month: Assistant Director in Charge Kristi K. Johnson, of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, announced the results of Operation Los… https://t.co/nbvnJS2El1
— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) January 22, 2021
Authorities said at least eight of the children had been sexually exploited. Agents explained that more often than not, victims are forced to perform these acts by someone they know.
“Sometimes people they know, sometimes people in their circle of friends or family, sometimes it’s actually a love interest that appears to be a love interest and they think they have a relationship with this person,” Kristi Johnson, assistant director in charge at the FBI, said.
According to authorities, the amount of human trafficking has increased significantly in recent years. The FBI has opened over 600 investigations and arrested nearly 500 people in 2020 alone.
So far, the “Lost Angels” investigation has led to the arrest of one suspect.