WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - 82 sexually exploited juveniles were rescued and 239 pimps and other individuals were arrested in Operation Cross Country, the FBI's annual law enforcement action focused on recovering underage victims of prostitution and sex trafficking.
This year's Operation Cross Country-the largest to date-involved 55 FBI field offices and 74 FBI-led Child Exploitation Task Forces throughout the country composed of more than 400 law enforcement agencies. Hundreds of law enforcement officials took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and other areas frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and their customers. The youngest recovered U.S. victim was 13 years old, FBI said.
All of the recovered U.S. minors were offered services by victim specialists who are part of the FBI's Office for Victim Assistance. More than 100 victim specialists provided on-scene services that included crisis intervention as well as resources for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention.
Among the 82 juveniles recovered in the U.S. were two sisters in Milwaukee, ages 16 and 17, who told authorities that their mother was their pimp. The girls said their mother also rented out their brother's room to a man who was a registered sex offender.
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