A minor victim and nine pimps were arrested last week in north Texas. The arrests were made as part of an international effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to focus on underage human trafficking.
Operation Cross Country, conducted with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and law enforcement officials in other countries, has led to the rescue of 82 minors in the United States and the arrest of 239 traffickers and their associates from October 13 to 16. It was part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost Initiative started in 2003 and it has produced over 6,000 child identifications and locations.
The program was the largest in the history of the effort–55 local FBI offices and 74 Child Exploitation Task Forces involving over 400 law enforcement organizations took part. Ten operations were conducted in six cities in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
“Operation Cross Country aims to shine a spotlight into the darkest corners of our society that seeks to prey on the most vulnerable of our population,” said FBI Director James Comey. “As part of this effort, we are not only looking to root out those who engage in the trafficking of minors, but through our Office for Victim Assistance, we offer a lifeline to minors to help them escape from a virtual prison no person ever deserves.”
Authorities in Canada discovered 16 children as part of their similar effort, Northern Spotlight. A two-year-old girl was rescued, along with 24 other children, as a result in Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
A statement obtained from the FBI by Breitbart Texas said that the rescue of the minor, and the arrest of nine Johns in Dallas, was a joint effort by the Dallas Police Department, Irving Police Department, Sherman Police Department, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Worth Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Frisco Police Department, McKinney Police Department, Lubbock Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Homeland Security Investigations, working with the FBI.