The FBI announced Tuesday that 169 people were arrested in an operation targeting the threat of sex trafficking leading up to Super Bowl LIII.

The bureau announced in a press release that an 11-day sting beginning Jan. 23 resulted in the arrest of 26 alleged traffickers, 34 people accused of trying to engage in sex acts with minors, nine alleged juvenile sex-trafficking victims and nine more alleged adult victims. 

“The operation’s goal was to raise awareness about sex trafficking by proactively addressing that threat during the Super Bowl and events leading up to the Super Bowl,” the press release read. “Sex trafficking is not just a problem during large-scale events, it is a 365-day-a-year problem in communities all across the country.”

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Program and Metro Atlanta Child (MATCH) Task Force worked alongside 25 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to carry out the arrests.


FBI Special Agent Taylor Dervish told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that major events like the Super Bowl bring in a lot of people, money and crime – increasing the odds of people willing to pay for sex.