Nationwide Operation Targeting Commercial Child Sex Trafficking Yields Recovery of 168 Juvenilles

This week the Justice Department announced the results of a week-long national law enforcement effort to address commercial child sex trafficking.

Operation Cross Country VII yielded the recoveries of 168 children victimized through prostitution, and 281 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, in addition to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted the operation in 106 cities across 54 FBI field divisions nationwide.

Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, a partnership established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, the Justice Department, and NCMEC, to address the growing problem of child prostitution.

“Child sex traffickers create a living nightmare for their adolescent victims,” said Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.  “They use fear and force and treat children as commodities of sex to be sold again and again.  This operation puts traffickers behind bars and rescues kids from their nightmare so they can start reclaiming their childhood.”

“Targeting and harming America’s children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences.” said FBI Director James B. Comey.  “Every child deserves to be safe and sound.  Through targeted measures like Operation Cross Country, we can end the cycle of victimization.”

“Operation Cross Country reveals that children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day,” said John Ryan, President and CEO of NCMEC.  “We’re proud to partner with the FBI and provide support to both law enforcement and victim specialists in the field as they help survivors take that first step toward freedom.”

To access the Justice Department press release on this operation, which includes a state by state breakdown of the juveniles recovered and pimps arrested by state, click here.  

Posted in The Takedown

Tags: Justice Department, child safety

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