In a nationwide operation, FBI agents recovered 84 child victims of sex trafficking, the youngest being 3 months old! The baby was found in CO. with her 5-year-old sister – the 2 were being sold for $600. SO sad!
A massive FBI sting has rescued 84 children from human sex trafficking while arresting 120 suspected traffickers. The operation, which ran from Oct. 12 to Oct. 15, was part of a nationwide initiative to clamp down on the sex trafficking of minors, according to the Huffington Post. While the average age of the victims was 15, the youngest child recovered was just a baby at three months old! The newborn girl and her 5-year-old sister were saved in Colorado after a family friend tried to sell both children for sex in exchange for $600. As it turns out, the “friend” was trying to sell the children to an undercover agent.
In another horrific case, an 18-month-old was presented to an undercover officer as a customer in Baton Rouge. Officers immediately placed the toddler with the state Department of Children and Family Services and arrested the child’s mother. The sting, which was called Operation Cross Country XI, specifically focused on underage victims of prostitution and involved 55 FBI field offices as well as partners in Canada, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines, according to a news release. “It can be easy to think that selling sex with children is so corrupt, so depraved, that it couldn’t possibly happen in my town, my neighborhood, my school,” said Loren Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “But, as we find out every time we recover a child, these victims are here and their needs are very real.”
The state Department of Children and Family Services president and CEO, John Clark, echoed the same sentiments. “Child sex trafficking is happening in every community across America, and at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we’re working to combat this problem every day,” he said. He added that he hopes the operation “generates more awareness about this crisis impacting our nation’s children.” Half of the arrests made in Operation Cross Country XI occurred in Georgia. The staging grounds included hotels, casinos, truck stops, street corners, and online, the FBI said.
FBI arrests more than 100, rescues dozens of children in sex trafficking sting. One victim was just 3 mos. old. https://t.co/oW5KjervX2
— KARE 11 (@kare11) October 19, 2017
The FBI didn’t just rescue these children though. All of the victims saved will receive assistance from state protective services and the FBI’s Victim Services Division. If necessary, they also will be provided medical and mental health counseling. “This operation isn’t just about taking traffickers off the street,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in the statement. “It’s about making sure we offer help and a way out to these young victims who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle of abuse.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — can you believe something this horrific was uncovered? Please send your well-wishes to these children and their loved ones.