FRANKFORT, KY– On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Operation United Front rescued 21 victims, including two minors, and yielded 46 arrests.
The multistate human trafficking sting was carried out Aug. 26 by 29 law enforcement agencies across Kentucky. Operation United Front resulted in 59 rescues and 102 arrests across the country. 41 of the victims rescued needed medical service.
The 12-state human trafficking operation, led by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and Missouri Highway Patrol, is believed to be the first multistate operation of its kind.
In Kentucky, four trafficking investigations were conducted simultaneously in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, McCracken County and Northern Kentucky. The Kentucky State Police (KSP) organized and lead this operation. Click here for the list of KSP arrests.
“Operation United Front is a great example of creating a better and safer Kentucky, one that is free of this hideous crime,” Gov. Beshear said. “Thank you to all the law enforcement agencies and organizations involved for rescuing these victims and holding these heinous offenders accountable. Unfortunately, this crime is occurring in every county, in every community across the commonwealth, but we will keep fighting to make life better and safer for all Kentuckians, especially our children.”
The Kentucky Office of Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations and Human Trafficking Investigation Unit led the operation in McCracken County.
In addition to KSP, several Kentucky agencies supported the commonwealth’s efforts in Operation United Front contributing to the overall success.
These agencies include: Anderson County Sheriff’s Office; Boone County Sheriff’s Office; Bowling Green Police Department; Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Police Department; Department of Homeland Security; Elizabethtown Police Department; Florence Police Department; Grayson County Sheriff’s Office; Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force; Hart County Sheriff’s Office; Homeland Security Intelligence; Homeland Security Investigations, Louisville; Kenton County Police Department; Kentucky Office of the Attorney General; LaRue County Sheriff’s Office; Lawrenceburg Police Department; Marshall County Sheriff’s Office; McCracken County Police Department; Nelson County Sheriff’s Office; Paducah Police Department; Radcliff Police Department; U.S. Secret Service; Shepherdsville Police Department; Simpson County Sheriff’s Office; South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force; Warren County Drug Task Force; and Western Kentucky University Police Department.
Additional organizations provided victim support services including medical, housing, food and other needed services. Among the organizations providing aid were Barren County Area Child Advocacy Center, Catholic Charities, Department for Community Based Services, Kentucky State Police Victim Advocates, Northern Kentucky Children Advocacy Center, Refuge for Women, Southeast Christian Church, Salvation Army and Salvation Army of Cincinnati.
Law enforcement from Missouri, Tennessee, and Illinois also participated in Operation United Front. In Missouri, two arrests were made and four victims rescued. Illinois law enforcement made three arrests and rescued one victim. In Tennessee, sox arrests were made and two victims rescued.
To view statements from other law enforcement agencies, click here.