“Human trafficking is more significant than people realize,” says Sean Reyes, a Republican Attorney General. And he should know. “We can no longer fight this fight without an interconnected effort with legislators and law enforcement officials, both nationally and internationally.”
After being formally elected in November 2013, Reyes was moved into action after taking part in prosecuting an international case of child trafficking in the State of Utah. Since the case, Reyes was compelled to do more. He teamed up with Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) as a result, to help free abducted children from slavery.
The team is a non-profit organization who works in conjunction with local police and government to achieve their goal of freeing children and hopefully reuniting them with their families. The rescue teams are usually made up of ex-Navy Seals, former CIA operatives and now government lawyers such as Sean Reyes.
Reyes underwent special training alongside his political consultant, Alan Crooks, for the operation they were to participate in Colombia. OUR set up a series of rescue missions across Colombia for that particular day. Acting in an undercover capacity, Reyes and Crooks worked with OUR last fall, to rescue children from a known local child trafficker cartel.
Claiming they wanted to invest in a child sex hotel, the men as undercover operatives, attended a child sex party on the island of Baru, where the raid was planned by local police. Reyes told Vice News that the police, however, were almost an hour late for the raid. It was during this time that cartel members presented Reyes and Crooks with a 12 year old girl who had obviously been drugged for the occasion, to “seal the deal.”
Once police showed, the outcome was a positive one. 54 children were freed and returned to their families. In simultaneous raids across Colombia, a further 120 children, aged 9-16, were also rescued, according to Crooks.
But the trafficking isn’t restricted to Colombia. It’s a world-wide problem. According to the US National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), between 2007 and 2014, 18,645 cases of human trafficking are reported nationally, a majority of them being accounted for in the category of sex trafficking.
In 2014, the US Department of State recognized the problem as worldwide billion dollar trade industry claiming millions of lives. Notating that there are still approximately 20 million victims of trafficking who have not been identified.
 (2014, October, 21). Attorney General Sean Reyes urges legislation to prevent online sex trafficking of youth. [St. George News]. Retrieved from http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/10/21/attorney-general-sean-reyes-urges-congressional-support-legislation-prevent-online-sex-trafficking-youth/#.VNgY-cv9nIV
 Fields, L. (2015, January 20). Utah Attorney General Posed as Bodyguard in Undercover Child Sex-Trafficking Sting in Colombia. [Vice News]. Retrieved from https://news.vice.com/article/utah-attorney-general-posed-as-bodyguard-in-undercover-child-sex-trafficking-sting-in-Colombia
 Scott, K. (2014, October 20). So. Utah journalist goes undercover: 123 rescued, including 55 children, 15 perps apprehended in sex trafficking operation. [St. George News]. Retrieved from http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/10/20/kss-123-rescued-55-children-included-from-sex-trafficking-operation-15-perpetrators-apprehended/#.VNgUl8v9nIU
 Hoffman, M. (2015, January 8). Sex Tourism Drives Underage Prostitution Boom in Cartagena, Colombia. [Vice News]. Retrieved from https://news.vice.com/article/sex-tourism-drives-underage-prostitution-boom-in-cartagena-colombia
 US Department of State official website. (2014). Trafficking in persons report. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/index.htm