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ICE arrests 43 in anti-child sex trafficking operation

ICE said the suspects "allegedly solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested"

Published: May 31, 2022 10:13pm

Updated: May 31, 2022 10:44pm

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that an undercover operation targeting commercial sex and human trafficking led to 43 arrests.

While most of the suspects were charged with prostitution, other counts stemming from the undercover "Spring Fling" operation include child sex trafficking, drugs, and misconduct involving weapons.

"The focus was on hotel prostitution and street prostitution enforcement," ICE said in a Friday press release. "The suspects allegedly solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested."

ICE's Homeland Security Investigations partnered with local Arizona police departments in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, and Surprise, as well as the Arizona State University Police Department for the investigation.

The agency stated it "is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children."

This is ICE's second notable recent sex trafficking operation.

Days before announcing the arrests in operation "Spring Fling," Homeland Security Investigations said it partnered with local law enforcement to recover 70 missing children in West Texas through "Operation Lost Souls." The children ranging in ages 10 to 17 "included victims of sex trafficking, and physical and sexual abuse," ICE stated.

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