168 children rescued from sex trafficking, FBI says
USA Today | June 23, 2013
Law enforcement officials rescued 168 child victims of commercial sex trafficking in a nationwide sweep during the past week and arrested 281 alleged pimps, the FBI said Monday.
The recoveries and arrests took place in 106 cities as part of a week-long campaign targeting truck stops, casinos, websites that advertise dating or escort services and metro areas populated by strip clubs and pornography stores.
This is the eighth time the FBI has coordinated a nationwide crackdown, FBI Director James Comey said. Known as Operation Cross Country, the effort involved 54 FBI field divisions and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Last week's operation is part of a larger initiative that in the past seven years has identified and recovered about 3,400 children who have been sexually exploited, the FBI said. The operation also has led to 1,450 convictions, 14 life prison terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.
"These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life," Comey said. "These are our children. On our streets. Our truck stops. Our motels. These are America's children."