105 Juveniles Recovered in Nationwide Operation Targeting Underage Prostitution
The FBI has announced it has freed 105 sexually exploited teenagers and arrested 150 suspected pimps in a nationwide sting on underage prostitution over the weekend.
The sting included enforcement actions in 76 cities across 47 FBI divisions nationwide and in addition to the recovery of more than 105 children who were being victimized through prostitution, the effort netted 150 pimps who were arrested on state and federal charges.
Known as Operation Cross Country, the sting is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and NCMEC, to address the growing problem of child prostitution. The Innocence Lost National Initiative brings state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and social service providers from across the country to NCMEC for training.
To date, the FBI and its task force partners have recovered more than 2,700 children from the streets. The investigations and subsequent 1,350 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 10 life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.
In announcing operation results, Ron Hosko, 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.”