Over the weekend, an FBI sweep code-named “Operation Cross Country,” nabbed 50 pimps and 45 minors they were exploiting. The sweep targeted 27 major cities that included Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Anchorage, Cleveland, Birmingham , Miami and more.
The minors taken into custody range in age from 13 to 17. According to the investigators the sex rings that exploit the children are sophisticated organizations and many of them reach across state lines.
“We’ve taken them into protective custody and away from the people who were exploiting them,” said Special Agent Steve Lazarus, an FBI spokesman in Atlanta. The FBI says it will not release the names, gender and ages of the children.
FBI Deputy Assistant Director, Daniel Roberts added, "Unfortunately, the vast majority of these kids are what they term ‘throwaway kids,’ with no family support, no friends. They’re kids that nobody wants, they’re loners. Many are runaways.”
More than 300,000 children are being sexually7 exploited in the United States, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.
See full list of cities targeted in "Operation Cross Country" below:
Los Angeles area