Nationwide sweep focused on underage victims of prostitution leads to recovery of 105 sexually exploited children and 150 arrests. (FBI photo)
A three-day nationwide operation focusing on underage victims of prostitution — including locations in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties — resulted about 150 arrests of pimps and other suspects and the recovery of 105 sexually exploited children, the FBI reported on Monday July 29. The sweep took place in 76 cities, and was carried out by the FBI in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
“This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable,” Hosko said.
The effort was part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, and was the seventh — and largest — such enforcement action to date, Hosko said. Since its creation in 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative has resulted in the identification and recovery of more than 2,700 children who have been sexually exploited.