HOUSTON, Texas–A week-long, nationwide effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies, resulted in the recovery of 168 children who were victims of sex trafficking. Additionally, almost 300 pimps were apprehended as a result of the large-scale execution.
The youths were recovered from 106 different cities, according to a press release from the FBI.
FBI Director James B. Comey reportedly said of the effort, “Targeting and harming America’s children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences. Every child deserves to be safe and sound. Through targeted measures like Operation Cross Country, we can end the cycle of victimization.”
FBI statistics show that the most apprehensions over the week were made in Denver, where a total of 18 child victims and 11 pimps were retrieved. Atlanta, Chicago, and Cleveland also saw a relatively high number of apprehensions.
The collaborative between agencies was conducted by Operation Cross Country, which is a part of the Innocence Lost NationalIni
According to the FBI, the initiative was started “in conjunction with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children…This combined effort was aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States.”
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) also reportedly helped conduct the most recent Operation Cross Country operation.
President of NCMEC John Ryan reportedly said, “Operation Cross Country reveals that children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day. We’re proud to partner with the FBI and provide support to both law enforcement and victim specialists in the field as they help survivors take that first step toward freedom.”
Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby has been diligent in exposing the sex trafficking of minors. In 2012, Darby revealed that he had gone back undercover as an informant for the FBI anti-human trafficking efforts, and that the agency left large numbers of sex trafficking incidents largely ignored. The plethora of federal agencies involved in combating the crime have since stepped up their efforts.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.