There are a few issues in America that are proverbial unmentioned “elephant in the room” of the mainstream media, and perhaps the biggest of these is the issue of human trafficking.

No one wants to talk about the fact that there are tens of thousands of human trafficking incidents reported annually in the United States, many of which involve young children…but the issue remains, even though it’s unaddressed.

Americans like to think of sex and human trafficking as something that happens in Third World countries, certainly not here at home. But anyone who’s been paying attention over the past few months knows that not only does it happen in America, but it’s rampant.

In this regard, the difference between the U.S. and these Third World countries that are hot spots for trafficking—Iran or Venezuela, for example—is that our law enforcement actively combats the issue and makes arrests wherever necessary. Other countries do not protect their people.

Over the past few months, the U.S. Marshals have led extremely successful rescue efforts in which they have retrieved hundreds of children in Ohio and Georgia – and arrested dozens of criminals connected to the cases.

On Tuesday, law enforcement in Tallahassee, Florida announced that an effort named Operation Stolen Innocence resulted in a mass arrest of more than 170 individuals involved in child sex trafficking.

Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell told reporters at a press conference that the operation initially began in November 2018 when investigators came across a photo of a 13-year old girl who was being prostituted online.

The Special Victims Unit rescued the girl early on, spurring a deeper investigation to identify all who were involved.

Concluding a two-year investigation, 106 individuals were charged with felony counts of human trafficking, 72 were charged with misdemeanors for solicitation of prostitution, and 18 face federal charges, according to the TPD’s report. All the suspects are reportedly from the southeast, including Alabama and Mississippi, Revell revealed.

Homeland Security Investigations Tampa Acting Special Agent in Charge, Kevin Sibley, stated, “It is difficult to comprehend the depravity of these criminals who prey on the most innocent in our society.”

“Thanks to the collective efforts of the Tallahassee Police Department and HSI special agents, our local communities are significantly safer today as a result of this investigation,” Sibley said.

Operation Stolen Innocence was a combined effort between local Florida police, U.S. Marshals, DHS, as well as the state’s attorneys.

Although the mainstream media won’t tell you about the child sex trafficking epidemic in our country, you can rest assured that there are good people in our country actively working to combat it.

It’s important that we all stay aware and watchful of this issue in our own communities as it can happen to anyone, anywhere.