- Monday June 25th, 2012 :: 07:54 p.m. PDT
Nearly 80 Juveniles Recovered In Nationwide "Operation Cross Country" Targeting Underage Prostitution
News Release - Federal Bureau of Investigation
Hundreds of FBI special agents partnered with thousands of local police officers, deputy sheriffs and state troopers and other law enforcement personnel throughout the United States this past week, arresting those responsible for exploiting underage children through prostitution.
The sixth iteration of Operation Cross Country, a three-day law enforcement action, led to the recovery of 79 children. Additionally, 104 pimps were arrested by local and state law enforcement on a variety of prostitution related charges.
“Child prostitution remains a major threat to children across America,” said Kevin L. Perkins, acting executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. “It is a violent and deplorable crime, and we are working with our partners to disrupt and put behind bars individuals and members of criminal enterprises who would sexually exploit children.”
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was created in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), to address the growing problem of domestic child sex trafficking in the United States.
“Once again, thanks to decade-long FBI leadership, it is clear that child prostitution and sex trafficking do not just occur somewhere else on the other side of the world. These insidious crimes are occurring in American cities and the victims are American kids,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
To date, the 47 Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups have recovered more than 2,200 children from the streets. The investigations and subsequent 1,017 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including eight life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.
Task Force operations usually begin as local enforcement actions, targeting such places as truck stops, casinos, street “tracks” and the Internet, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation.
Information gleaned from those arrested often uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states. FBI agents further develop this information in partnership with U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and file federal charges where appropriate.
The Innocence Lost National Initiative brings state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and social service providers from across the country to NCMEC, where the groups train together. In addition, DOJ has reinforced the training by assigning prosecutors to help bring cases in those cities where child prostitution occurs.
The FBI thanks the more than 8,500 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and agents representing 414 separate agencies who participated in Operation Cross Country and ongoing enforcement efforts.
The following list denotes FBI Divisions, not necessarily actual cities, where juveniles were recovered and pimps arrested.
FBI DIVISION / JUVENILE / PIMP
Albuquerque 0 0
Atlanta 3 5
Baltimore 0 1
Birmingham 0 0
Boston 1 3
Chicago 3 3
Cleveland 0 1
Dallas 6 0
Denver 2 3
Detroit 6 3
El Paso 1 1
Houston 0 1
Indianapolis 0 0
Knoxville 0 0
Las Vegas 4 4
Los Angeles 5 3
Miami 2 4
Milwaukee 6 0
Minneapolis 0 4
Newark 0 3
New Orleans 3 10
New York City 1 1
Oklahoma City 3 7
Omaha 0 2
Philadelphia 2 2
Phoenix 2 1
Portland 3 6
Richmond 0 2
Sacramento 6 6
St. Louis 2 2
San Antonio 0 2
San Diego 2 7
San Francisco 6 7
Seattle 6 7
Tampa 3 3
Washington Field Office 1 0
TOTALS 79 104
Los Angeles Participates in Operation Cross Country:
In the Los Angeles Division of the FBI, five minors were recovered and placed in protective services. One individual was arrested on charges involving the pimping of a minor. Other individuals were either cited or arrested for criminal activity related to prostitution. Agencies involved in this weekend's operation in the FBI's Los Angeles Division are listed below:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Los Angeles Police Department
Anaheim Police Department
Corona Police Department
Riverside Police Department
San Bernardino Police Department
Riverside County Sheriff's Department
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Investigators
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
California Highway Patrol
Various Victim Services
To learn more about Operation Cross Country and the Innocence Lost National Initiative, visit www.fbi.gov, www.justice.gov or
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
VIDEO - Operation Cross Country: Nationwide Sweep Recovers Child Victims of Prostitution
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
NATIONAL PRESS OFFICE
June 25, 2012
More from the County of Los Angeles:
(VIDEO) MANIPULATED: Child Sex Trafficking in Los Angeles County (June 8, 2012)
In Los Angeles County, girls, as young as 11 or 12, are being bought and sold on the streets as prostitutes. These young girls are being manipulated by pimps and put on the streets to make money. A trafficker can make over $140,000 annually off of one girl and most have more than one girl in their stable. MANIPULATED is a gritty and real look at this issue that is not just happening "over there."
Los Angeles County Unveils Anti-Child Sex Trafficking Campaign (May 31, 2012)
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe joined local law enforcement officials, Metro executives and local businesses to unveil a multimedia awareness campaign aimed at informing the public about the heinous crime of child sex trafficking.
The campaign, originally called for by Supervisor Knabe, will appear at Metro train stations and bus stops, as well as on all rail cars, trains and over 3,000 buses in both English and Spanish. Thanks to a generous donation by Clear Channel Outdoor, over 50 digital displays and 15 traditional billboards will broadcast the message across Los Angeles County.
“This campaign is a first step in raising the public profile of child sex trafficking and finding a way to protect these young victims,” said Supervisor Knabe. “This is a great example of government and the private sector working together to shine a light on a travesty that is happening right here in Los Angeles County communities and neighborhoods. Together, we are saying, ‘No more. Not in our streets. Not to our young girls.’”
Metro released 77,000 brochures on child sex trafficking in early April, 2012. The brochures include basic facts, tips on how to recognize victims and what steps to take. At the end of April, 15,000 brochures also were released on Metrolink trains. All ads and posters include a QR code which, when scanned by a smartphone, will direct people to the Metro website for more information on what they can do to help fight child sex trafficking.
“Metro applauds the leadership of Supervisor Don Knabe in launching the campaign to fight child sex trafficking, and we encourage our many riders to be vigilant in telling Sheriff’s deputies or Metro employees if they see suspicious activity on our buses, trains and in our stations,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy.
Los Angeles County is also proud to partner with Clear Channel Outdoor to take its anti-child sex trafficking message to millions of residents.
“Child sex trafficking is a horrible and growing problem in Los Angeles county and Clear Channel applauds the work of Supervisor Knabe and the County to bring attention to this problem in order to encourage residents to take action to protect vulnerable children,” said Clear Channel Outdoor’s Southern California Division President Lee Ann Muller. “Clear Channel is honored to partner on this campaign to communicate this critically important public safety message so we, as a community, can save children from being sexually exploited.”
The digital displays will begin running the anti-child sex trafficking campaign today; traditional billboards will begin on June 4, 2012.
Read more about the efforts in Los Angeles County to combat child sex traffcking. Click on this hyperlink on the website of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and look at the bottom of the page:
Help stop sex trafficking and partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
Captain Mike Parker
Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
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Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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