Missouri truck stop human trafficking operation nets multiple arrests and rescues

More than a dozen law enforcement agencies took part in a human trafficking operation at truck stops in Missouri last week.

The operations occurred on February 5 at Bucky’s and Love’s Travel Stop locations in St. Joseph, Missouri, according to a news release from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

Authorities say that three people were arrested during the operation with an additional arrest pending.

In addition to the arrest, Schmitt says that the anti-human trafficking operation led to the rescue of eight people — two young children, five adult females, and an adult male. The victims were offered offered victim services, including food, lodging, onsite medical services, counseling/therapy and drug rehabilitation.

A total of 16 different agencies including the St. Joseph Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the Kansas City Police Department, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals, the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole, State Parks, and others, were involved in the operation.

“Last night, my Office’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, in coordination with multiple law enforcement agencies, conducted a successful human trafficking operation at two truck stops in St. Joseph, resulting in 6 victims and 2 children being rescued and 3 arrests,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “This operation was successful because of cooperation between my Office, the St. Joseph Police Department, the state highway patrol, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, and 13 other agencies and departments. This unprecedented success should send clear a message to traffickers: you are not welcome in Missouri, and you can’t hide any longer.”