Girl found in Utah among 82 juveniles rescued during FBI’s child sex trafficking sting

An FBI agent takes a suspected pimp into custody in Detroit, Michigan, during Operation Cross Country X resulting in the recovery of 82 adolescent victims and the arrest of 239 pimps and other individuals, October 2016| Photo courtesy of the FBI, St. George News

UTAH — The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s three-day nationwide human trafficking sting operation concluded with the rescue of 82 sexually exploited juveniles and the arrests of 239 pimps and other individuals involved in exploiting children, including a girl found in Utah.

The 17-year-old girl had been brought to Utah from another state, according to the FBI. She was cared for by the Division of Child and Family Services until she could be returned to her family.

By the conclusion of the operation Saturday, officials said three Utah women were arrested on warrants and six others were cited for prostitution.

The coordinated effort, known as Operation Cross Country, involved 55 FBI field offices and 74 child exploitation task forces composed of more than 400 law enforcement agencies, according to a statement issued Monday by the FBI.

Among the 82 juveniles recovered in the U.S. were two sisters in Milwaukee, ages 16 and 17, who told authorities their mother was their pimp, officials said. The youngest recovered victim in the U.S. was 13 years old.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Director John Clark said Monday that the exploitation of children is a serious problem in the U.S.

“This is something that’s happening in communities all across the country,” Clark said in a statement. “We need moms and dads and teachers and neighbors and everybody working hand-in-hand to try to identify where this situation is happening so that we can bring the right resources to bear to fight child sex trafficking.”

The effort is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003. Since its creation, according to the FBI, the program has resulted in the identification and recovery of more than 6,000 children from child sex trafficking.

“Operation Cross Country aims to shine a spotlight into the darkest corners of our society that seeks to prey on the most vulnerable of our population,” said FBI Director Comey during a press conference Monday in San Diego. “We are not only looking to root out those who engage in the trafficking of minors, but through our Office for Victim Assistance, we offer a lifeline to minors to help them escape from a virtual prison no person ever deserves.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • knobe October 19, 2016 at 6:13 am

    I found this especially hard to read
    “two sisters in Milwaukee, ages 16 and 17, who told authorities their mother was their pimp” .

    What kind of nightmare of a life is it when a child’s should be protector is really their pimp . . .

  • .... October 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Yeah there are some RealLowlife parents out there with social issues and they need some prison time !

  • Bob October 19, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    i bet they barely touched the tip of the iceberg. in the world of underground sex trafficking 16-17 isn’t young at all. i read an article about some of the pedophile rings they’ve busted in the UK–pretty sickening

    • .... October 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

      Wow Dumbob I’m really impressed. really I am Dumbob. you read an article ? well I’m real happy for you. that must of been quite an accomplishment for you. !

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