GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A sweep by the FBI across several US states from Friday 22 June to Sunday netted more than 100 pimps and allowed the “feds” to free 79 teenage prostitutes, the American crime-fighting agency said Tuesday. The raids, conducted over 72 hours in 57 cities, was done with the help of state and local law enforcement and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
“Child prostitution remains a major threat to children across America,” said Kevin Perkins, acting executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “It is a violent and deplorable crime, and we are working with our partners to disrupt and put behind bars individuals and members of criminal enterprises who would sexually exploit children.”
Most of the teenage prostitutes are street children or runaways who fall into it while looking for food, shelter and protection, the FBI told media Tuesday. Its Innocence Lost National Initiative began in 2003 and today the groups working as part of it “have recovered more than 2,200 children from the streets. The investigations and subsequent 1,017 convictions of pimps, madams, and their associates who exploit children through prostitution have resulted in lengthy sentences—including multiple sentences of 25 years to life in prison—and the seizure of more than $3 million in assets.”
Raw video footage from the FBI, from Operation Cross Country VI