Multi-Agency Effort Nets Recovery of 33 Missing Children in Operation “Lost Angels”
During the month of January, which is also Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department worked in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and two dozen other local law enforcement and non-governmental agencies to help identify, locate and safely recover children that had been missing or were possibly being sexually exploited and/or trafficked.
As a result of this multi-agency effort, which began on Monday, January 11, 2021, 33 children have successfully been found. 8 of those children were confirmed as being sexually exploited at the time they were found and 2 of them were rescued multiple times from a location in which commercial sex trafficking is known to operate.
This operation resulted in the arrest of one suspected Human Trafficker, on state charges, and helped to initiate several new investigations.
Throughout these operations, victims are provided with information about resources on how to obtain housing, continue their education and childcare, just to name a few. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the California Department of Child & Family Services and other non-government victim advocacy organizations were also on hand to provide their services and assist in any way.
“Collaboration with our law enforcement partners is key to ending the vicious cycle of modern day slavery. I’m committed to doing everything we can to stop human trafficking,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the below partner agencies who helped make this operation successful:
California Highway Patrol
Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office
United States Attorney’s Office
United States Marshall’s Service
Internal Revenue Service
Drug Enforcement Agency
Health and Human Services
Inglewood Police Department
El Segundo Police Department
Pomona Police Department
Glendale Police Department
Long Beach Police Department
San Diego Police Department
Wichita Police Department
Langston University Police (Oklahoma)
San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
San Luis Obispo District Attorney Bureau of Investigation
Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office
California Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
Los Angeles County Probation Office
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Wayfinder Family Services
Arizona Department of Child Safety
For more information about this operation, visit:
Anyone who believes they may be victims of human trafficking may call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (NHTRC) at 888-373-7888 or visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/ The NHTRC is a national, confidential, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls at all times.
Those who wish to report incidents of suspected human trafficking may call their Sheriff’s Station or local FBI office.
For more information about this operation, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department-Special Victims/Human Trafficking Bureau or the FBI Media Relations Office.