Reported by: The Epoch Times
An undercover operation in Kansas recently resulted in the arrest of multiple individuals for committing crimes against children, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The undercover child exploitation operation, Operation Blue Ghost, was carried out by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Kansas City and HSI Kansas City Child Exploitation Taskforce (KCCET) partners in and around Wichita, Kansas, between May 17 and June 2.
During the initial phase between May 17 and 19, the Wichita Police Department and HIS Wichita targeted adults willing to travel to sexually exploit a child, according to a June 6 press release by ICE.
This resulted in the arrest of 17 individuals who were charged with crimes related to promoting the sale of sex, purchase of commercial sex acts, and aggravated human trafficking.
Between May 31 and June 2, HSI Kansas City and KCCET partners carried out operations during which 15 more such individuals were arrested.
The detained individuals were charged with sex trafficking of a child, promoting prostitution, furnishing pornographic material to minors, sex trafficking, felony evading, obscenity and moral offenses, attempted second-degree statutory rape, attempted statutory sodomy, and more.
“I am extremely proud of all of the special agents, analysts, and officers whose hard work and dedication made this operation a success,” said HSI acting special agent in charge of the Kansas City area of operations R. Sean Fitzgerald.
“Our joint commitment to protecting children has removed these 32 dangerous individuals from our streets and hopefully sends a clear message to others looking to harm children.”
Operation Blue Ghost arrests follow the “Spring Fling” undercover operation, which led to the arrests of 43 individuals for crimes related to child sex trafficking, drug charges, prostitution, and misconduct involving weapons. HIS partnered with local Arizona police departments during the operation.
“The focus was on hotel prostitution and street prostitution enforcement. The suspects allegedly solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested,” a May 27 press release from the ICE said.
According to the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation, the United States accounts for more online child sexual abuse content than any other nation. In 2021, the United States accounted for 21 percent of global child sexual abuse material (CSAM) URLs.
In the first three months of 2022, this shot up by 9 percent to 30 percent, the foundation told MIT Technology Review.
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in 13 boys and 1 in 4 girls in America suffer some kind of child sexual abuse. Around 90 percent of the abuse is perpetrated by someone who is known to the child or the child’s family.
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