In a massive nationwide sweep with raids in 76 cities, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have rescued 105 underage sex workers and arrested 150 alleged pimps in a three-day operation dubbed Operation Cross Country 7.
Here’s what you should know.
1. The Operation Saved 105 Children From Sex Slavery
According to the FBI, in addition to recovering 105 children, the raids also arrested 150 pimps and “other individuals.”
It was the largest such operation in FBI history.
2. The Massive Sweep Involved Thousands of Officers
The three-day operation included raids in 76 U.S. cities.
Forty-seven FBI divisions took part in Operation Cross Country VII, along with more than 3,900 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and agents representing 230 separate agencies.
The FBI also partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as part of its Innocence Lost National Initiative.
3. 60 Percent of the Children Were Foster Homes Before They Ran Away
As reported in the FBI’s press conference (watch video above), some 60 percent of runaways who end up in prostitution situations were previously in foster homes. While the numbers are not specific to this operation, they are being cited in conjunction with the investigation.
4. The FBI Released Dramatic Footage of the Raids
The video above, released on the FBI’s YouTube channel, shows gritty footage of the operation in action.
5. 2,700 U.S. Child Sex Workers Have Been Rescued Since 2003
According to the info page for the FBI’s Innocence Lost Initiative, a collaboration with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, more than 2,700 children have been rescued by the collaboration since 2003, with more than 1,300 pimps and other criminals convicted.
Operation Cross Country 6, for example, rescued 79 children.