A three day federal sweep on child prostitution rings nationwide has led authorities to recover 69 children and arrest 884 people including 99 pimps.
The operation was known as Operation Cross Country V and took part in 40 cities across the country as a part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative. Seattle, Washington had the most children recovered with 16 and a total of 7 pimps arrested in the city. Tacoma, Washington and Sacramento, California came in second with each city having 7 child prostitutes recovered. Tacoma had 2 pimps arrested and Sacramento had 3. The most pimps arrested in one city was in Detroit, Michigan with 10.
Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Service Branch, made a statement in which he touted the importance of the work to protect children and free them from victimization.
The Innocence Lost Initiative was formed in June of 2003 as an effort to address domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States. It was comprised of several agencies including the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation-Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
There are currently 39 Innocence Lost tasks forces operating around the country. All together they have rescued 1250 children and been responsible for 438 indictments and 625 convictions.
The most recent sweep that ended Sunday is the fifth operation of its kind.
It is believed that 25 percent of adult prostitutes were introduced to the industry as children.