FBI releases info on sex sting

15 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

12 alleged pimps arrested in child sex trafficking sting.

Law enforcement officials rescued 149 minors, including one as young as 12, from US pimps in a nationwide crackdown on human trafficking, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. “When kids are treated as a commodity in seedy hotels and on dark roadsides, we must rescue them from their nightmare and severely punish those responsible for that horror,” FBI Director James Comey said in a statement. DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A child sex trafficking sting involving numerous state and local agencies has resulted in the recovery of 19 victims and the arrest of 12 suspects in the Detroit area. “There are 56 across the country – 63 of them participated in this initiative and recovered 149 victims nationwide, so when you compare those numbers with Detroit,” said FBI spokesperson Jill Washburn. “We actually did really, really well, we were actually one of the highest performing states. “It is surprising that it is still going on – that we are continuing to talk about human trafficking – that we continue to see young people, particularly young women falling into these situations – and being victimized in this way. Comey vowed to “end the scourge of sex trafficking in our country” and praised local law enforcement agencies in 135 cities who helped conduct sweeps in hotels, casinos, truck stops and other areas frequented by sex-traffickers and their customers.

In total, FBI officials recovered 149 children identified as trafficking victims and arrested 153 as part of the nationwide initiative dubbed Operation Cross Country. FBI Supervisory Special Agent Michael Glennon, who led the sting, said the pimp suspects, who were both male and female, mainly operated out of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. More than 500 law enforcement agents took part in the operation, which targeted frequent spots for child trafficking dealings, including casinos, hotels, and truck stops.

But Special Agent Celeste Danzi, spokeswoman for the Newark FBI office, said via a release that local and federal authorities conducted investigations in 135 U.S. cities, including Newark and Atlantic City. Glennon said criminal charges are likely forthcoming for the exploiters, who may be charged at either a state or federal level, depending on the circumstances.

Since the program’s inception, more than 4,800 children have been recovered from underage prostitution and prosecutors have obtained more than 2,000 convictions, authorities said. In raw video footage of stings in Jackson and Alexandria released by the bureau, federal agents are shown conducting video surveillance and then raiding hotel rooms and arresting people suspected of human trafficking.

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