PERMIAN BASIN (KMID/KPEJ)- The Texas Department of Public Safety found and recovered 30 children last week as part of a joint human trafficking operation. Children as young as 13 were reportedly saved as part of this operation.

According to a news release, on May 9th, DPS Criminal Investigations Division conducted a missing and exploited child operation. The goal of the operation was to locate or recover children reported missing in Midland and Ector Counties.  In addition, the operation targeted people seeking to exploit and victimize trafficking victims, as well as to identify and apprehend individuals suspected to be involved in human trafficking, leading to multiple active investigations.

Multiple agencies assisted in these investigations including: DPS’ CID, Texas Highway Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, Odessa and Midland Police Departments, Ector and Midland County Sheriff’s Offices, United States Marshal Services, Midland and Ector ISD Police Departments, Ector and Midland County District Attorney’s Offices.

In addition, the operation was assisted by multiple civilian entities: Department of Family Protective Services, Child Protective Services, Harmony Homes Children’s Advocacy Center, Midland Rape Crisis Children’s Advocacy Center, DPS Victims Services, Midland County Juvenile Probation Office, Midland Memorial and Odessa Medical Center SANE nurses.

If you are a victim of human trafficking or have information about this type of criminal activity, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.