WASHINGTON - The FBI arrested 150 people across the United States for holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials on Monday called the largest-ever operation of its kind.
The suspects were arrested in 76 U.S. cities and are expected to face state and federal charges related to sex crimes and human trafficking, FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials said at a news conference.
FBI agents and local police recovered 105 children during the operation at truck stops, motels, casinos and other places where they were held against their will for prostitution, officials said.
WASHINGTON — Authorities rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution and arrested 150 pimps and others in a three-day law enforcement sweep in 76 American cities, the FBI said Monday. The victims, almost all girls, range in age from 13 to 17.
The largest numbers of children rescued were in San Francisco, Detroit, Milwaukee, Denver and New Orleans. The campaign, known as Operation Cross Country, was conducted under the FBI's Innocence Lost initiative.
The Justice Department has estimated that nearly 450,000 children run away from home each year and that one-third of teens living on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.
Congress has introduced legislation that would require state law enforcement, foster care and child welfare programs to identify children lured into sex trafficking as victims of abuse and neglect eligible for the appropriate protections and services.
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