MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — The Federal Bureau of Investigations worked with its state and local partners to identify and locate three adult victims of sex trafficking during its nationwide campaign called “Operation Cross Country.”

The initiative in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) focused on identifying and locating victims. Authorities also investigated and arrested people involved with child sex and human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a devastating crime that exploits vulnerable members of communities nationwide, including those in Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia,” Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg said. “Operation Cross Country is an example of the work our office and our partners do every day. We will continue to focus on rescuing victims in our area, investigating and prosecuting traffickers, and supporting survivors.”

Law enforcement agencies conducted targeting operations to identify and apprehend offenders, dismantle criminal networks and prevent further harm to victims.

The suspects identified will be subject to additional investigation for potential charges.

In Indiana, agents from the Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT) Task Force worked with the Indiana State Police, Merrillville police, Hobart police and other agencies to locate the three adult victims.

The FBI also said two traffickers were arrested by local law enforcement. Nationally, the agency located 200 victims and 126 suspects of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

The FBI encouraged continued vigilance, cooperation, and reporting from the public to help identify and recover victims and bring reported perpetrators to justice.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1 (888) 373-7888 or text 233-722. You can also submit a tip on the NHTRC website.