More than 100 arrested in human trafficking sting in Iowa & 11 states

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(Undated) -- More than 100-people are facing charges after a multi-state human trafficking sting. Iowa was one of 12-states involved in the effort. Investigators identified nearly 50-victims during simultaneous human trafficking investigations yesterday and today (Friday).

In Iowa, officers executed 10 search warrants, identified five businesses involved in sex trafficking, arrested eleven people, and seized a large quantity of cash.

The operation dubbed Operation United Front was coordinated by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol and was comprised of state and federal law enforcement agencies, is believed to be the first multi-state operation of its kind. 

Iowa law enforcement agencies participating in the operation included the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Ankeny Police Department, Clive Police Department, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Des Moines Police Department, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Urbandale Police Department, Walcott Police Department, West Des Moines Police Department, and the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force conducted 10 operations to combat human trafficking throughout Iowa.

“Human trafficking uniquely affects Iowa given our proximity to major metropolitan areas like Kansas City and Chicago and the intersection of two major interstate systems,” said Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens. “As a result, we know human trafficking is happening in Iowa and that it occurs in a variety of settings. We thank our law enforcement partners and state and federal prosecutors for the unified commitment to stamp out human trafficking in our cities and counties throughout Iowa. We will continue to provide training and resources designed to identify and effectively respond to human trafficking in whatever form it may take. Together we can prevent this from happening in our state, because even one victim is one too many,” Bayens added.

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