Sex trafficking is a national story that has hit home today with the revelation by the FBI that arrests have been made in the L.A. area as part of a coast-to-coast sweep.
The FBI came up with evidence that dozens of minors were being prostituted across America, including the "recovery" of 79 children and the arrests of 104 alleged pimps.
The L.A. County Sheriff's Department says that 5 juveniles and 3 suspected pimps were arrested ...
... in the Los Angeles area.
The arrests happened within the last week as part of a 3-day sweep called "Operation Cross Country," according to a sheriff's statement.
It was the sixth version of the operation, part of "Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups" that officials claim has taken 2,200 children off the streets and resulted in 1,017 sex-trafficking-related convictions.
According to the sheriff's department:
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Task Force operations usually begin as local enforcement actions, targeting such places as truck stops, casinos, street "tracks" and the Internet, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation.
Information gleaned from those arrested often uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states.
Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:
... It is clear that child prostitution and sex trafficking do not just occur somewhere else on the other side of the world. These insidious crimes are occurring in American cities and the victims are American kids.