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FBI’s Operation Cross Country Rescues 105 Sexually Exploited Children
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The FBI announced on Monday that a three-day sting operation conducted in partnership with local, state and federal agencies in 76 cities as part of the Bureau’s Innocence Lost National Initiative resulted in the rescue of 105 sexually exploited children and arrests of 159 pimps and other individuals. FBI conducted the operation in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The largest numbers of rescues were made in San Francisco, Detroit, and Milwaukee divisions of the FBI. In San Francisco, 12 children were rescued and 17 pimps arrested. In Detroit 10 children were rescued and 18 pimps arrested.

  
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In Milwaukee, 10 children were rescued, but none arrested. Other divisions from where children were rescued but no pimps arrested include Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston and Boston.

In several divisions pimps were arrested but no children could be rescued. Such divisions include Baltimore, Cincinnati, El Paso, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Louisville, Miami, Newark, and Springield.

John Ryan, the CEO of NCMEC said “Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America’s children are being sold for sex every day, many on the Internet.” The FBI has rescued more than 2,700 children under the Innocence Lost Project.

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Ron Hosko, the assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division said, “Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America … This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere, and the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”

Though the FBI only reported the arrest of pimps in its sting operation release, media reports have stated that in many states customers soliciting sex with children have also been arrested. The arrests were possible by monitoring of backpage.com by the FBI.



In Iowa, though no children were rescued nor pimps arrested, 33 persons who solicited sex with minors through different channels were arrested.



 

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