A local Kansas City area organization, DeliverFund, provided support to a multistate operation to stop human trafficking. Operation United Front resulted in 102 arrests and the rescue of 47 victims and sex workers, including two children.
“This is the power of a public-private partnership with truly committed people and partners and shows what can be done at scale,” said Michael Fullilove, chief of operations for DeliverFund. “We are grateful to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and all of our law enforcement partners in the states that participated.”
Each state conducted its own operation simultaneously and shared information and data with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Missouri’s victim-centric operation resulted in two arrests, four victims rescued and 11 victims who were provided needed services.
Victim-centric operations are critical because for too long, human trafficking victims have been viewed as criminals and further traumatized by the criminal justice system. As outlined by the Office of Justice Programs, Office of Victims of Crime, Training and Technical Assistance Center, victim-centric operations recognize the key role that victims play in a successful human trafficking investigation and prosecution. Similarly, they protect the rights of the victims as crime victims and their right to engage in seeing their traffickers brought to justice.
Victim-centric operations ensure that victims are provided with referrals to task force victim service providers. Identifying victims of human trafficking and providing them services is not only a best practice, it is more impactful in the fight against human trafficking.
“Operation United Front was an unprecedented human trafficking operation that brought together law enforcement agencies from different jurisdictions – something that rarely happens. When we all come together, we can affect change and more effectively fight human trafficking, a crime that is often multi-jurisdictional in nature. My Office will not stop in our quest to investigate and eradicate human trafficking in Missouri,” stated Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
The AG’s office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol have previously conducted three separate, successful operations in Columbia, St. Joseph, and Oak Grove, and the Attorney General’s Hope Initiative has combatted human trafficking by shuttering dozens of illicit massage businesses.
DeliverFund is a non-profit intelligence organization founded and operated by a group of individuals who have decades of experience from careers in the CIA, NSA, special operations and law enforcement. They leverage cutting-edge technology into the ultimate weapon against human trafficking. More information is available at www.deliverfund.org.