Police investigated over 400 cases related to human trafficking during Super Bowl week in Las Vegas, authorities said.  

Cases involved pandering, adult and minor sex trafficking, and solicitation attempts (known also as “John” arrests), Las Vegas Sheriff Kevin McMahill said Tuesday during a town hall.  

Las Vegas logged 12 confirmed arrests for human trafficking and 26 so-called bot cases online around the time of Super Bowl LVII, McMahill said.  

In a bot (or robot) case, a detective uses the internet to covertly converse with individuals who say they desire to “pick up a kid and do sex trafficking with them” the sheriff said.  

Without providing details, McMahill also listed 303 arrests or citations for solicitation, loitering, and trespassing; 21 “John” arrests or citations; and 49 other transgressions related to human trafficking

In total, the Police Department reported 411 violations of law connected with trafficking.  

From 2013 to 2016, Nevada logged only 356 cases of human trafficking. In 2021, the state recorded 201 cases.  

Cases may include multiple victims, but represent individual instances of trafficking, police say. 

As The Daily Signal previously reported, Las Vegas police worked with a local nonprofit, Signs of Hope, to counter an expected increase in human trafficking cases surrounding the NFL’s Super Bowl. 

Kimberly Small, CEO of Signs of Hope, which fights sexual violence and exploitation, talked about the issue in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun before the Feb. 11 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. 

“We do focus a lot of our resources around these larger events because we know that there’s going to be an uptick in numbers,” Small said. 

A direct connection exists between child trafficking and the crisis of illegal immigration at the southern border, according to a 2023 report from Emma Waters, a research associate in The Heritage Foundation’s Devos Center for Life, Religion, and Family. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.) 

About 60% of children who cross into the U.S. unlawfully will end up in “prostitution, forced labor, and child pornography,” Waters’ report says. 

The Biden administration reported releasing over 400 children last year to “nonrelated” adults in the U.S. Most had other children already in their care, officials said. 

A whistleblower told Congress last April that the U.S. government is the “middleman” in the multibillion-dollar industry of human trafficking of minors across the southern border. 

Half of the most wanted child traffickers sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are from Mexico, according to Waters’ report. 

“The link between human trafficking and the porous southern border highlights the need for strong border security,” Waters told The Daily Signal in an earlier interview. “The Biden administration’s negligent enforcement at the southern border directly corresponds with the increase in human trafficking into the United States, especially during major national events such as the Super Bowl.” 

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