Updated: Oct 30, 2015 2:44 PM EDT
MACON, Ga. (AP) - Federal authorities have arrested 29 people in 13 cities in eight states on charges related to sex trafficking.
Federal authorities say Operation Safe Haven, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, began in Moultrie. Authorities say they identified a loose organization that coordinates the trafficking of Hispanic women in southern states.
Authorities say the traffickers were independent operators who worked together to transport and exploit women for sexual purposes.
The five-count indictment filed in federal court in Macon charges 38 people, 29 of whom were arrested Thursday. Law enforcement officers also rescued 15 potential victims in raids on brothels and homes Thursday.
The arrests, which are the result of a 15-month investigation, were made in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
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