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More than 140 children in the USA saved from human traffickers

October 20, 2015 ·  By



WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — More than 140 children who were victims of human trafficking were recovered after a nationwide human trafficking operation, according to the FBI on Wednesday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement agents from across the country, including Alexandria, Va. found 149 underage trafficking victims and arrested 153 pimps last week and this past weekend during Operation Cross Country IX. The FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children led the operation.


According to the FBI, three of the minors were transgender, three were males and the youngest victim was 12 years old. The efforts in Los Angeles resulted in the rescue of three minor victims and the arrest of three pimps. In addition, police arrested multiple adult prostitutes and individuals soliciting prostitution.

More than 100 of the children received on-site direct services, including crisis intervention and resources for basic needs.

David Bowdich, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, stated in a press release, “On a yearly basis, the coordinated effort made during “Operation Cross Country” raises public awareness and highlights the need to collectively deal with this critical issue plaguing American cities and our youth.”

“Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a written statement. “As a result of the FBI’s outstanding coordination and exemplary efforts alongside state and local partners during Operation Cross Country, more children will sleep safely tonight, and more wrongdoers will face the judgment of our criminal justice system. The Department of Justice will continue to aggressively and persistently fight this heinous crime, and to hold its perpetrators accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Operation Cross Country IX is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003. FBI officials said more than 4,800 children have been recovered from underage prostitution and more than 2,000 people have been convicted of crimes since the start of the initiative.


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