In its recently concluded Operation Cross-Country, federal authorities conducted a sweep across 106 US cities to curb the incidences of human trafficking. The week-long series of enforcement activities were conducted to “end the cycle of victimization” of US youth, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey.
During the sweep, a total of 168 children were rescued from child sex trafficking activities and syndicates, while 281 pimps were arrested, the FBI said.
“These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Comey said. “These are America’s children.”
This is the eighth operation of its kind, and the FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been taken off the streets as a result of these efforts and their partnership with the Justice Department and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Furthermore, task force operations have led to 1,450 convictions.
“There is no more meaningful work that the FBI participates in than rescuing children,” Comey said.
Meanwhile, assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said that sex traffickers “create a living nightmare for their adolescent victims.”
“They use fear, and force, and treat children as commodities of sex to be sold again and again,” Caldwell said in a statement.
“This operation puts traffickers behind bars and rescues kids from their nightmare so they can start reclaiming their childhood.”