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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
11/21/2019

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ICE, police arrest 21 during 3-day Kansas City operation to combat human trafficking

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A three-day law enforcement operation to combat human trafficking and vice in a Kansas City suburb ended Nov. 14 and resulted in 21 arrests.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Independence (Missouri) Police Department, arrested 21 individuals between Nov. 12 and 14 during an undercover operation to combat human trafficking and vice for various crimes, including prostitution, promoting prostitution, possessing controlled substances, and weapons offenses. One individual was charged with violating the Mann Act.

Law enforcement seized the following items during this operation: two firearms, counterfeit U.S. currency, and small amounts of methamphetamine and crack cocaine. 

This remains an ongoing criminal investigation.

Every day, HSI special agents around the globe work to uncover, dismantle and disrupt human trafficking. HSI employs a victim-centered approach, where equal value is placed on the identification and stabilization of victims, as well as the investigation and prosecution of traffickers.

Human trafficking victims have been found in communities nationwide in the agriculture, hospitality, restaurant, domestic work and other industries, as well as in prostitution that is facilitated online, on the street, or in businesses fronting for prostitution such as massage parlors.  Overseas forced labor can be used to produce the consumer goods that are in our homes and workplaces.  These victims are men, women and children of all ages and can include U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.  Many of them thought they had found a good paying job or a better life, only to have their hopes dashed and work compelled.

Recognizing human trafficking indicators is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. HSI encourage the public to report suspected human trafficking to its tip line by calling 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by submitting a tip online at ICE.gov/tips. The tip line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/21/2019