DENVER — The FBI Denver Division held a news conference on the local results of a nationwide operation to recover child sex trafficking victims Tuesday morning.
Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider was joined by representatives from some of the 30-plus law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Cross Country along the Front Range.
>Video above: Full FBI news conference
The FBI Denver Division was able to locate 11 child victims, 27 missing and endangered children, and 11 adult victims, said Schneider. The FBI Denver Division was able to locate more victims than any other FBI division in the country.
Schneider said six traffickers were identified during the operation and two were arrested for unrelated felony warrants.
The average age of the child victims found in the Denver area was 13 years old, Schneider said.
The FBI Denver Division took a three-pronged, victim-centered approach which included intelligence-generating and analysis on the victims, working with partners to locate the victims across Colorado and working with victim specialists and advocates to provide services for the victims, Schneider said.
Of the victims that were found during the operation, Schneider highlighted two cases. The first was of a mother whose 3-month-old was found inside of a car with a known sex trafficker. The other was of a child who was located and given Narcan after she had ingested fentanyl.
During the news conference, Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown asked that parents pay attention to their children's tablets and social media accounts.
"We've heard several stories, over the past legislative session, about how people were able to obtain illicit narcotics - specifically fentanyl - through social media platforms," Brown said.
The nationwide operation focused on locating victims of sex trafficking and arresting those involved in both child sex and human trafficking crimes. Agents arrested or identified 85 suspects of child sex exploitation and human trafficking offenses, according to the Department of Justice.
The FBI located 84 victims of child sex exploitation in the nationwide search and found 37 actively missing children across the country during the two-week operation.
The average age of the victims was 15.5 years old and the youngest was 11 years old. In addition to locating and identifying the underage victims, the FBI found 141 trafficked adults.
>Watch a replay of Tuesday's new conference in the video player below:
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