Sixteen people from Georgia face human trafficking charges after an undercover sting involving state and local law enforcement, according to the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office.
The arrests included the capture of two Floridians in Atlanta who were wanted on charges of murder and sex trafficking in the case of a 14-year-old girl.
According to a news release, the FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force arrested 54 adult prostitutes, seized nine firearms and saved one juvenile from sex trafficking in addition to the alleged pimp arrests.
The sting was part of Operation Cross Country X, an international operation focused on human sex trafficking. This year, officials were able to rescue 82 minors and arrested 239 traffickers, according to the release.
“Operation Cross Country aims to shine a spotlight into the darkest corners of our society that seeks to prey on the most vulnerable of our population,” FBI Director James Comey said in the release. “As part of this effort, we are not only looking to root out those who engage in the trafficking of minors.”
In addition to the metro Atlanta arrests, five were arrested in a sting in Athens. Two guns were also seized.
The sting was one of the largest in the initiative’s history. It involved 55 FBI field offices and 71 state and local task forces across the nation, including dozens of sheriff’s offices, police departments and state agencies in metro Atlanta.