Nationwide FBI sting rescues 105 children, nets 159 pimps

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 7/29/2013

At least 105 children have been rescued and more than 159 pimps have been arrested as a result of a nationwide sex trafficking sweep carried out in 76 cities in the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Monday, July 29.

According to the FBI release, 47 FBI divisions, along with 3,900 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and agents representing 230 separate agencies took part in the sweep, deemed “Operation Cross Country.” The agencies, along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, took part in the nationwide sweep as part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative.

Since 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative has resulted in the identification and recovery of 2,700 children.

Kendis Paris, national director of Truckers Against Trafficking, told Land Line that the sweep is a result of one big team working together to end human trafficking, including sex trafficking of children.

“This is the Innocence Lost arm of the FBI doing what they do best, and this is just fantastic to see that many kids rescued,” Paris said. “It reinforces that we are not just talking about adults, that they are minors being forced into this kind of life.”

Since 2009, TAT has partnered with many organizations, including OOIDA, within the trucking community to raise awareness about human trafficking in the U.S. In the past four years, Paris said she can see that the truck community has gained a heightened awareness of the human trafficking problem in the U.S. 

“The calls into the Polaris Project, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, are the biggest indicators that folks are aware of this, that they are making those phone calls,” Paris said.

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