WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) – Over the past 72 hours, the FBI and several other law enforcement agencies conducted a nationwide sex trafficking sting, recovering 105 children and other adults believed to sold for sex.
The FBI said it arrested 150 people in 76 cities who were acting as pimps. The FBI’s Birmingham division arrested two people and recovered three juveniles who were being used in sex trafficking in the Birmingham area.
The effort, called Operation Cross Country 7, involve a variety of local, federal and state agencies and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
“This operation targeted street tracks, truck stops, motels, casinos, Internet sites, social media platforms and the likes,” said Ronald Hosko, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
Hosko said the children range in age from 13 to 17. All were removed from dangerous environments and moved to safe settings, Hosko said.
“Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America,” said Hosko. “This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere, and the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”
“Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America’s children are being sold for sex every day, many on the Internet,” said John Ryan, CEO of NCMEC. “We’re honored and proud to partner with the FBI, which has taken the lead in tackling this escalating problem.”
Hosko said agents also seized cash, drugs, vehicles and firearms, as well as other personal items estimated to have a value of more than $165,000.