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70 Children Rescued by Multi-Agency Operation in Texas

Photo: ICE

By Steve Neavling

A multi-agency operation in Texas recovered 70 missing children in a three-week period, ICE announced Tuesday.

Operation Lost Souls was a joint effort involving Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, the Texas Department of Public Safety and numerous other federal, state and local agencies. 

The operation ran from the end of April through mid-May in western Texas. 

The recovered children ranged in age from 10 to 17, and most were runaways. Some were victims of sex trafficking, as well as physical and sexual abuse. 

“Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization. In this case, we are looking out for our children – our community’s most precious resource,” El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho said in a statement. “HSI is committed to continue working with our law enforcement partners to locate, recover and help missing children heal, while ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for these heinous crimes and brought to justice.”

Authorities attributed the success to teamwork. 

“At the Department of Public Safety, teamwork is one of our core values,” DPS Major Matthew Mull said. “We are grateful for all of our law enforcement partners who participated in this operation and who work around-the-clock every day to protect our communities, including our youth.”

Anyone with information about human trafficking is asked to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.


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