FBI Rescues 3-Month-Old & 83 Other Children From Nationwide Sex Trafficking

The FBI
The FBI
After a four-day, multistate operation, the FBI announced that it saved 84 children from a human trafficking ring and arrested 120 adults. Although the average age of the victims was 15, the youngest child rescued during this expansive operation was 3 months old.

 

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For the 11th iteration of Operation Cross Country, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the FBI collaborated to recover victims across the country to target and carry out stings at hotels, websites, casinos, and street corners popular with pimps and prostitutes. Along with international partners, 55 FBI field offices and 78 local state task forces teamed up to free these young victims. 

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"We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation's children from harm. Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested -- and the number of children recovered -- reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work," FBI director Christopher Wray said in a press release. "This operation isn't just about taking traffickers off the street. It's about making sure we offer help and a way out to these young victims who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle of abuse."

The minors recovered during Operation Cross Country XI were offered assistance including protective services, medical attention, and mental health care. "During operations by FBI Denver's Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force, for example, a 3-month-old girl and her five-year-old sister were recovered after a friend who was staying with the family made a deal with an undercover task force officer to sell both children for sex in exchange for $600," a separate statement said.

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It was also revealed that on the same day, a 21-year-old female offered a different undercover agent the opportunity to have intercourse with her and a minor for a $200 fee. "Child sex trafficking is happening in every community across America, and at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we're working to combat this problem every day," NCMEC president and CEO John Clark said. "We're proud to work with the FBI on Operation Cross Country to help find and recover child victims. We hope OCC generates more awareness about this crisis impacting our nation's children."

Operation Cross Country XI is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which the FBI started in 2003 which has so far found 6,500 trafficked children. "The threat of child sex trafficking is something the FBI works on every single day," Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge of the Denver Division, said in a statement. "Operation Cross Country gives us the opportunity to shine a light on this threat and to educate the public." 

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