“Operation Lost Souls” was a 3-week-long mission that located and recovered 70 missing children from several counties in Texas. The task force was comprised of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso, and over two dozen other various federal, state and local agencies.
HSI stated the missing children ranged in age from 10 to 17, and many had originally been runaways. Furthermore, those recovered included victims of physical and sexual abuse, as well as sex trafficking.
“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.” -HSI El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Taekuk Cho
Due to ongoing investigations, HSI has not released more information about any arrests or suspects associated with trafficking crimes. However, they claim the operation produced several leads authorities are already investigating.
Deputy Special Agent in Charge Cho also stated, “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.”
The operation took place between end of April and mid-May. HSI states that in 2021 they identified and/or assisted 728 victims of human trafficking.
Authorities encourage anyone with information about a human trafficking victim, or related criminal activity, to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888