‘Operation Games STOP’: Sting nets dozens of human trafficking-related arrests during World Games

BIRMINGHAM, Ala, — A monthlong human trafficking-related operation in Birmingham, Alabama, helped recover seven missing children, identified and assisted multiple trafficking victims and netted dozens of arrests leading up to The World Games.

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“Operation Games STOP,” instigated by Homeland Security Investigations, targeted human exploitation-related crimes, drug trafficking and other public safety threats ahead of the nearly two-week international multi-sport competition that ended Sunday, reported.

According to WBRC-TV, the sting produced the following results:

  • 34 arrests of commercial sex buyers.
  • Six arrests on human trafficking-related charges.
  • Eight arrests of adult males for online enticement of a minor and traveling to meet a minor for sex.
  • 15 adult sex trafficking victims identified and provided services.
  • Four minor victims of labor trafficking identified and provided services.
  • Two minor sex trafficking victims identified and provided services.
  • 11 minor victims of online sexual exploitation and sextortion identified.
  • Seven adult labor trafficking victims identified and provided services.
  • Seven missing and endangered minors were located, recovered and provided services.
  • Nine felony drug arrests.
  • One arrest of a fugitive from Michigan on charges of felony impersonation of a police officer.
  • More than a dozen outstanding state and local arrest warrants served on people encountered, including one for attempted murder.
  • Nine firearms seized.
  • More than $30,000 in counterfeit goods seized.
  • More than 20 search warrants executed.

According to, the sting began June 23 and encompassed the training of staff at more than 80 Birmingham-area hotels on identifying human trafficking signs, as well as the efforts of some 3,500 volunteers and even competing athletes.

“Major sporting events like this routinely attract transnational criminal organizations and other bad actors involved in illicit criminal activity such as human exploitation crimes, drug trafficking and the sale of counterfeit merchandise,” Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama, said in a prepared statement.