It is no surprise that the most terrifying things are found on the internet, or more specifically on an entity dubbed as the “dark web”. Just browsing the surface of the dark web can introduce you to the black market of drugs and illegal services. Digging a little deeper can shine light on darker things such as “hit men” websites and sex trafficking rings. In this particular instance, society is informed of a sex trafficking ring implemented on none other than the dark web.
Upon deeper investigation, authorities were able to uncover homes specifically purchased for the sex crimes. Attorney Pete Orput of Washing County explains,
“There is a townhouse in Cottage Grove [Minnesota], that was bought and paid for with cash. And when police entered, they saw two beds. That’s it. But they also saw a line of guys waiting on a couch, waiting for their turn.”
The outcome was a three day sting operation in response to the information uncovered in the investigation, resulting in 474 arrests. Over the last three years, the sting has been done continuously. Though, just recently did they achieve maximum effect. Referred to as “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild”, the endeavor was in fact able to reclaim 55 victims – 28 of which were children.
Despite many arrests being made across the city of Minneapolis, two of the ring leaders were found residing in Irvine. Ironically, Irvine was named one of the top ten “happiest” cities in America earlier this year. 474 arrests may have been made, but unfortunately this sting is only the tip of the iceberg.
The dark web is still breathing with things far worse than a black market of drugs, guns, and fake money. We can only hope that Operation Reclaim and Rebuild will be just as successful in their fourth year.