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FBI Rescues Child Prostitutes

Posted by tothewire on February 24, 2009

Child prostitutes rescued in US

FBI agent (file photo)

The operation targeted the trafficking of children for prostitution

US authorities have rescued nearly 50 child prostitutes – some as young as 13 – in a nationwide operation against the trafficking of children for sex.

More than 570 suspects were arrested during the action, which took place over three nights.

FBI agents and local police forces were involved in the operations which spanned some 29 cities.

Officials say a 16-year-old girl who recruits children as prostitutes is being sought as a priority.

Special Agent Melissa Morrow, of Washington’s FBI, said adult prostitutes who were among those arrested tipped authorities off about the girl.

“She is currently 16 and started when she was 13,” Agent Morrow said.

“Now she is out there recruiting other juveniles as well,” she said, adding that finding her was “at the top of our list”, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Cycle of violence

The ages of teenage prostitutes rescued in Operation Cross Country III ranged from 13 to 17.

The FBI said 571 people were arrested on suspicion of the trafficking children for prostitution and solicitation.

“We continue to pursue those who exploit our nation’s children,” said FBI Director Robert S Mueller III.

“We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence.”



also on the web :

FBI, police rescue child prostitutes around US

12:05 p.m. February 23, 2009

— The FBI has rescued 48 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as young as 13 years old, in a nationwide sweep to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused pimps.

Over a three-night initiative called Operation Cross Country, federal agents working with local law enforcement also arrested more than 571 suspects on a variety of federal and state prostitution-related charges, the bureau said.

The teenage prostitutes found in the investigation ranged in age from 13 to 17.

“We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Meanwhile, in Memphis, Tenn., a man pleaded guilty Monday to federal civil rights charges for sex trafficking in minors. Leonard Fox faces at least 10 years in prison after admitting that he arranged for underaged girls to engage in sex for money.

“To sexually prey upon young girls in this manner for financial gain is particularly damaging to the victims and an affront to the society in which we live,” said Loretta King, acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Historically, federal authorities rarely play a role in anti-prostitution crackdowns, but the FBI is becoming more involved as it tries to rescue children caught up in the business.

“The goal is to recover kids. We consider them the child victims of prostitution,” said FBI Deputy Assistant Director Daniel Roberts.

“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,” Roberts said.

Most of the children are put into the custody of local child protection agencies.

Agents in cities from Miami to Chicago to Anchorage, Alaska took part in the operation.

Special Agent Melissa Morrow of the FBI’s Washington office said the operation has put them on the trail of a particular 16-year-old prostitute they still haven’t found.

Adult prostitutes arrested during the operation provided key tips about the girl, the agent said.

“She is currently 16 and started when she was 13. Now she is out there recruiting other juveniles as well,” said Morrow, adding that finding the girl is “at the top of our list.”

The federal effort is also designed to hit pimps with much tougher prison sentences than they would likely get in state criminal courts.

Government prosecutors look to bring racketeering charges or conspiracy charges that can result in decades of jail time.

“Some of these networks of pimps and their organizations are very sophisticated, they’re interstate,” said Roberts, requiring wiretaps and undercover sting operations to bring charges.

The weekend’s roundup marked the third such Operation Cross Country, and is part of a broader federal program launched in 2003 to crack down on the sexual exploitation of children.



3 Responses to “FBI Rescues Child Prostitutes”

  1. dorian9 said

    and i thought these things happen mostly in third world countries. this is so sad. child predators are the lowest of the lowlifes. fbi should expand their operatives to catch everyone of these pimps and their depraved clients…


  2. tothewire said

    Dorain! I have missed you! Yes, this is just heartbreaking. I can understand lawman’s wanting to line all the child predators up and shooting them. Isn’t that a horrible thing for me to admit?!


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