Autumn Hope: Celebrate a win in war on human trafficking

Sometimes the news isn’t just good, it is fantastic. So it was this week when the U.S. Marshals Service reported a major success against criminals engaged in human trafficking — in southern West Virginia and southern Ohio.

Working with local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Marshals Service Offices in Southern Ohio and Southern West Virginia, in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force executed operation “Autumn Hope.” The marshals arrested 179 people. That is good news.

Even better, however, is the fact that 45 missing and exploited children were rescued. Thirteen of them were in West Virginia.

Just think of it — 45 children saved from, frankly, who knows what.

This kind of evil is nothing new, nor is it happening only elsewhere, and for some shadowy ring of “elites,” as social media might suggest.

But during the last five years, the Marshals Service has recovered missing children in 75 percent of the cases it has received. Of those recovered, 72 percent were recovered within seven days. Since 2005, the USMS has recovered more than 2,000 missing children.

Good for all involved. Sadly, their very success proves they — and we — need to keep up the very real battle against human trafficking that is taking place right under our noses.


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