An international FBI investigation of underage sex trafficking earlier this month extended to the Kansas City area, where authorities found five teens and four women who were victims of trafficking, according to authorities.
From Thursday to Sunday, FBI agents partnered with local law enforcement in Kansas City and seven other cities in Kansas and Missouri to identify victims of human trafficking in an action the FBI called Operation Cross Country X. Agents and police arrested 12 alleged pimps and 14 alleged johns on state and federal charges, according to the FBI.
The investigation led agents to hotels, truck stops and street corners in Kansas City, Kan.; North Kansas City; Independence; Overland Park; Wichita; Topeka; and Junction City.
Minors taken into custody during the operation were placed with state protective services, while adults arrested on prostitution charges were left to be processed by local law enforcement.
The operation was the 10th such effort undertaken by the FBI and included 55 different field offices. This year, agents for the first time carried the investigation to other countries, including Canada, Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand.
In Canada, authorities recovered 16 children. In Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines, agents recovered 25 children, including a 2-year-old girl.