BOISE, Idaho – Since February, multiple law enforcement agencies have partnered with community organizations in preparation for a human trafficking operation designed to assist women victimized by human trafficking. Detectives contacted females believed to be in the illegal sex trade industry to get them to a specified location. Once there, the females were offered services as a first step in getting away from their lifestyle. Last night, six (6) adult females were contacted and offered services by partner organizations. The women ranged from 24 to 45 years old.
“While this operation draws public attention to the issue of trafficking, law enforcement and our community partners work daily to stop trafficking,” said Idaho State Police Detective Vickie Gooch, who co-chaired the operation. “Due to their situation, these women cannot easily escape victimization and require assistance. As law enforcement cannot provide adequate services, we need victim specialists embedded in our operations who partner with community organizations and social service agencies to help victims escape trafficking. Victims typically have an immediate need for food, lodging, medical services, counseling, therapy, drug rehabilitation, or job placement as they take the first of many steps to rebuild their lives.”
Partnerships, resources and community support are essential for the success of these operations. The operation included law enforcement assistance from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise Police Department, Caldwell Police Department, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Homeland Security, Idaho State Police, Idaho State Police Fusion Center, Meridian Police Department, Nampa Police Department, and the State of Idaho Probation and Parole. Community assistance was organized and provided by Advanced Clinical Trauma Services, the Nampa Family Justice Center, and SANE medical providers from the Nampa Family Justice Center. Operation Underground Railroad provided training, mentorship, and resources. Additionally, support was provided by Chick-fil-A and Little Caesars Pizza, who provided meals for the victims and those conducting the operation.
Last night, no adult males were contacted or detained. However, there are several ongoing investigations into suspect human trafficking crimes. At this time, no additional details will be released about these investigations.
Human trafficking continues to be a problem in Idaho and across the United States. Law enforcement takes this crime seriously and continues working to arrest those responsible. If you have information or suspect human trafficking in your area, call 911, the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-8888, or the Idaho State Police Fusion Center at 208-846-7676.