FBI operation leads to arrest of alleged human trafficker in Utah

Eric Barnhart is the director of the FBI's Salt Lake City office. File photo.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 18, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A four-day effort aimed at reducing human trafficking across the United States has resulted in the recovery of 84 juveniles and the arrest of 120 traffickers.

One suspected trafficker, or pimp, was arrested in Utah.

The FBI on Wednesday announced the results of its annual Operation Cross Country, now in its 11th year.

Between Oct. 12 and 15, 55 FBI field offices worked with 78 state and local task forces, consisting of hundreds of law enforcement officers. They “staged operations in hotels, casinos and truck stops, as well as on street corners” across the nation, according to information released by the Salt Lake City office of the FBI.

The women believed to be involved in prostitution were made aware of services within the community that could help them achieve another lifestyle.

Operation Cross Country is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003. More than 6,500 children have been recovered from exploitation and trafficking situations since the program began, according to the FBI.

In Utah, Salt Lake City Police officers arrested Roger Dewayne Jessop, 28, for investigation of exploitation of a prostitute, a third-degree felony.

According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, an undercover officer arranged to meet a prostitute, which led investigators to Jessop.

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