The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office successfully executed three undercover human trafficking operations over the last two weeks. The operations resulted in the location and rescue of 20 human trafficking victims and at least six arrests, and with investigations still ongoing, the operation may result in additional arrests.
“Human trafficking is a destructive crime that debases our common humanity and diminishes the value of human life. These victims are someone’s daughter, sister, or friend, and I am determined to put an end to this criminal enterprise and help them find their way forward without shame or blame,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “I would like to thank the law enforcement officers, investigators, and all of our federal, state, and local partners who assisted in these operations for their hard work and continued support in the fight to end human trafficking in Mississippi.”
On May 17 and 18, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Jackson Police Department conducted a human trafficking operation in Jackson.
During the first night of the operation, the team encountered five victims of human trafficking, and each victim was offered victim assistance. Additionally, there were two arrests for promoting prostitution and one for felony narcotics possession. Information obtained during this operation led to the identification of an individual that has a major role in human trafficking in and around Jackson. That investigation is currently ongoing.
During the second night of the operation, five additional victims of human trafficking were encountered, rescued, and offered victim assistance. No additional arrests were made, but valuable information was gained that could assist in future investigations.
On May 19, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office conducted a human trafficking Operation in Jackson County.
During this operation, five victims of human trafficking were encountered, and each was offered victim assistance. Additionally, two arrests were made for promoting prostitution. One of the men had been previously arrested by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office on human trafficking charges.
On May 26, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, HSI, MBI, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, and members of the Pinebelt Human Trafficking Task Force conducted a human trafficking operation in Hattiesburg.
During this operation, five victims of human trafficking were encountered and each was offered victim assistance. Additionally, one arrest was made for promoting prostitution. Information was obtained during this operation regarding several individuals potentially involved in the trafficking of individuals in and around the Hattiesburg area. That is still being investigated.
DeSoto County News Service