Child Prostitution Targeted; Hundreds Held, 47 Children Rescued in Operation
Byline: Ben Conery, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Law enforcement officers across the country have rescued 47 children from sexual exploitation and arrested scores of people on prostitution charges since Thursday, federal officials said Monday.
Sex trafficking of children remains one of the most violent and unconscionable crimes committed in this country, FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole said at a news conference announcing the results of Operation Cross Country II.
The operation - a nationwide law enforcement sweep conducted Thursday through Saturday - partnered FBI agents with officers from 93 state and local law enforcement agencies in 27 cities from Boston to Anchorage, Alaska.
Along with finding the 47 children, who are mostly girls between 13 and 17 years old, authorities said they arrested 73 people on procurement charges, 518 adults on prostitution charges and 51 people on other related charges.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich said those arrested in the sweep will face a combination of local and federal charges.
FBI Deputy Assistant Director Daniel Roberts said investigators trolled Internet sites, truck stops and hotels known for child prostitution. They monitored conversations between reputed pimps on social networking Web sites and used tools, such as wire taps, that are typically associated with organized crime probes.
The sweep is the latest part of the five-year-old Innocence Lost initiative involving the FBI, the Justice Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that aims to combat sex trafficking of children. …