More than 170 people charged in connection to human trafficking bust in Florida, officials say

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJW) — More than 170 people have been charged in connection to large-scale human trafficking investigation in Florida.

According to the Tallahassee Police Department, the two-year long investigation started after images of a child were found on a website that advertises sex for money. That child was subsequently rescued during an operation called “Stolen Innocence.”

The investigation also led to the discovery of an enormous amount of electronic evidence.

Officials said the suspects involved are facing charges ranging from solicitation of prostitution to human trafficking of a minor.

“It is difficult to comprehend the depravity of these criminals who prey on the most innocent in our society,” said Kevin Sibley, Homeland Security Investigations Tampa Acting Special Agent in Charge. “Thanks to the collective efforts of the Tallahassee Police Department and HSI special agents, our local communities are significantly safer today as a result of this investigation.”

Police encourage the public to report any suspicious activity.

Some of the most common ways to recognize a potential human trafficking victim are:

  • The person appears malnourished.
  • They show signs of physical injuries or abuse.
  • They avoid eye contact, social interaction and law enforcement.
  • They do not have official identification or personal possessions.
  • They are never away from people.

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