The FBI had good news for the nation Monday, June 23rd, as they announced the successful completion of this year’s operation Cross Country nationwide juvenile sex trafficking operation, netting hundreds of sex traffickers and rescuing nearly 170 children forced into prostitution. All in all, the Bureau’s Innocence Lost program has rescued about 3,600 children since its inception in 2003, giving the children a chance at a normal life and recovery.
In this year’s nation-wide sting operation, agents teamed-up with local law enforcement to find child prostitutes, with the hopes that the children would lead them to their pimps. This year’s program was successful on that front as well, bringing in 281 pimps who they intend to bring to justice. This operation focused on the children and pimps, so information on john apprehensions were not available.
In a similar program back February, the Bureau announced that a Super Bowl enforcement sting recovered 16 juveniles, and brought over 45 pimps into the justice system to answer for their crimes. This highlights a focus that Director James Comey describes as some of the most “meaningful work that the FBI participates in,” according to the official announcement.
In response to violence against children in this area, the FBI has introduced 70 child exploitation task forces throughout the country whose focus is on identifying and mitigating violence against children and sexual exploitation. These task forces are made up of local law enforcement personnel working in cooperation with the FBI, victims advocacy groups, and other federal agencies.
“These are our children. On our streets. Our truck stops. Our motels. These are America’s children” Comey said at a press conference on the subject. “These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life.”