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Utah man gives gripping account of undercover operation to free children from human traffickers

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Nov 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-16 22:00:28-05
Dallas Hyland poses with an armed escort while participating in an undercover operation against human trafficking in Columbia. Photo by/courtesy of Dallas Hyland.

Dallas Hyland poses with an armed escort while participating in an undercover operation against human trafficking in Colombia. Photo by/courtesy of Dallas Hyland.

ST. GEORGE, Utah – An investigative journalist from Utah recently returned from a trip to Colombia, where he reportedly participated in an undercover operation that resulted in the liberation of 123 victims of human trafficking in three cities and the arrest of 15 people.

Dallas Hyland of St. George, Utah, reportedly traveled to Colombia with Operation Underground Railroad and posed as a bodyguard for undercover operatives posing as sex trafficking buyers.

The man shared a gripping first-person account of the experience, which was first published by the Southern Utah Independent. He described the man who sold 31 girls and 6 young boys to the undercover operatives as someone who was carrying on as if he, “was selling steak knives.”

He describes the danger of the situation, the moment when authorities handcuffed him and other facets of the undercover operation, highlighting what could have happened if the suspect had caught on to their intent.

“But make no mistake, I’m certain that if he knew our meeting with him was the precursor to possibly spending decades in prison, he would have killed us, or had us killed,” Hyland said.

Click here to read Hyland’s complete account on the Southern Utah Independent, which features details about the suspect, the operation and includes several photographs from the trip.