The FBI said Monday it recovered nearly 170 children under age 18 in sex trafficking stings across the country last week, in a long running program known as Operation Cross Country.
"This past iteration included 106 cities. Police rescued 168 children, and arrested 281 suspects on charges of sexual exploitation of children." (Via WFOR)
The most children were recovered from the Denver area with 18 rescued. The most pimps were arrested in the Phoenix area with 21. (Via FBI)
"Agents said today the pimps are using the children at sporting events, conferences and in hotels. They said some of the tips came from travelers in hotels who noticed some strange behavior." (Via KXAN)
The campaign targeted truck stops, casinos and websites that advertise dating or escort services, as well as areas with a large number of strip clubs and pornography stores. (Via FBI)
"These are not far away kids in far away lands. These are our kids. ... These are America's children." (Via NBC)
Operation Cross Country is a part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative. Over the program's 11-year history, the FBI has recovered nearly 3,600 children, convicted 1,450 individuals on sex trafficking related charges — including 14 life sentences — and recovered $3.1 million in assets. (Via FBI)
Many of the children recovered during the sting had not even been reported missing prior to being rescued.