AR Briefly

Arkansas FBI office targets human trafficking suspects in national operation

By: - August 17, 2022 9:00 am

FBI agents and northwest Arkansas police this week announced the arrests of four people accused of human trafficking or intending to meet underage victims for sex.

The effort, which included victim advocacy organizations and a host of law enforcement agencies, began earlier this month with the identification of two victims of human trafficking, according to a news release from the FBI’s Little Rock field office.

Officers arrested one for allegedly trafficking the victims, the release states. They also arrested three others, who allegedly “traveled or intended to travel to northwest Arkansas” from other states and cities for sex with minors.

The Arkansas operation was part of a national effort, dubbed Operation Cross Country XII. Local and federal officials conducted 391 operations over a two-week period.

The national effort identified 84 minor victims and rescued 37 actively missing children, according to the FBI. It also located 141 adult victims of human trafficking across the U.S.

Authorities arrested 85 suspects for human trafficking or child-exploitation offenses.

“The success of Operation Cross Country in Arkansas this year is a direct result of the enduring partnerships we share with local and state law enforcement,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson. “Without our partners, four alleged predators may have avoided justice and two human trafficking victims may not have received the assistance they desperately needed. We will continue to work with Arkansas police agencies to combat human trafficking and child exploitation throughout our state.”


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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. He spent the better part of the last decade investigating and reporting on Arkansas government and politics. For three years, he covered education policy, medical marijuana and the Arkansas General Assembly as part of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Capitol Bureau. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. Hunter got his start in journalism covering sports for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.