A nationwide child prostitution sting by a multi-agency task force resulted in the arrest of more than 100 alleged pimps and the recovery of dozens of exploited children, including one each in El Paso, the FBI announced Monday.
Operation Cross Country, which for a three-day period targeted truck stops, casinos, street "tracks" and the Internet for possible exploitation of underage children and other violations of local and state prostitution or solicitation laws, led to the recovery of 79 children and the arrest of 104 pimps. The largest number of children recovered in a single city was six, which occurred in several cities, including Dallas, while 10 pimps were arrested in New Orleans alone.
"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."
This is the sixth time hundreds of FBI agents partnered with thousands of local police officers, sheriff's deputies, state troopers, and other law enforcement personnel throughout the United States to uncover organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states. Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was created in 2003 by the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, the Department of Justice and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.