New York, NY - June 24, 2014 - During the past week, the FBI, along with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, conducted Operation Cross Country VIII to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the United States. The operation included enforcement actions in the New York City area and led to the recovery of three children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, three pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.
Nationally, Operation Cross Country VIII led to the recovery of 168 children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 281 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges. This operation included enforcement actions in 106 cities across 54 FBI field divisions nationwide.
George Venizelos, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI, said, “Every year, thousands of children and teens are victimized by sex traffickers. The FBI remains committed to working with our partners in continuing to pursue those who exploit our nation’s most innocent victims.”
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to address the growing problem of child prostitution.
To date, the FBI and its task force partners have recovered more than 3,400 children from being exploited. The investigations and subsequent 1,450 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 14 life terms.
The FBI thanks our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Westchester District Attorney’s Office, Westchester County Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, White Plains Police Department, Greenburgh Police Department, Yonkers Police Department, and New Rochelle Police Department.
For more information on Violent Crimes Against Children, please visit the FBI’s website.