The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) Task Force released results of Operation Breaking Chains, an initiative in 16 of the state’s counties focused on combatting human trafficking.
The FSA said during the month-long initiative 29 victims were recovered, 31 traffickers identified, and 363 arrests were made, WTXL reported Thursday.
“Amplifying the safety on our roads and waterways is crucial for all Floridians, including our children, and those who visit the Sunshine State,” FSA President and Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz noted.
“The dedicated enforcement of state laws that deal with businesses suspected of human trafficking and online operations will help to keep us all safe,” he continued.
The FSA shared an infographic detailing the announcement and wrote that it took over 1,000 man-hours performing “knock and talks” at numerous businesses:
“The dedicated enforcement of state laws that deal with businesses suspected of human trafficking and online operations will help to keep us all safe," said @FLSheriffs President and @GCSOFlorida Bobby Schultz. https://t.co/J6cWxd2iXS | https://t.co/ZmFcFkEKGC pic.twitter.com/k43CMZb9ky
— Florida Sheriffs (@FLSheriffs) July 22, 2021
In a social media post on Thursday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) said it was proud to be part of the operation.
“The month-long operation took place in June, but our deputies are always working to end these heinous crimes,” the post read:
OCSO was proud to be part of Operation Breaking Chains, a @FLSheriffs Task Force initiative focused on stopping human trafficking and prosecuting those responsible. The month-long operation took place in June, but our deputies are always working to end these heinous crimes. pic.twitter.com/SjaCcgZcb1
— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) July 22, 2021
Pasco County Sheriff and chair of the FSA Task Force Chris Nocco expressed his gratitude for Schultz’s leadership and the counties that took part in the initiative.
“The goal, as always, is to protect victims,” Nocco told WTXL. “I credit the unique approach this operation took to its success. We not only focused on arrests but surrounded victims with resources that will be impactful in the future and allow us to break the cycle of human trafficking while also holding those responsible.”
Meanwhile, a recent human trafficking operation in Missouri and Kansas resulted in 82 individuals being arrested.
“Seventeen of those rescued were adults and 14 were missing children. The youngest victim was four-years-old,” according to Breitbart News.
The outlet reported in June that drug addicts, runaways, and illegal aliens are the three top targets of sex and forced labor traffickers, according to a report from the Human Trafficking Institute (HTI).