The operation focused on recovering underage victims of prostitution and sexual exploitation. The operation conducted raids in 76 cities including
The operation was part of a larger initiative; the Innocence Lost National Initiative was created by the FBI in 2003. It is in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), in order to address national concern about the increasing rates of child sex trafficking and prostitution.
Operation Cross Country was made possible because of the cooperation of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies such as NCMEC. It is the seventh and largest enforcement action to date.
Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal Investigative Division, stated in a press conference at
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. The operation included the support of 230 separate law enforcement agencies.
According to Hosko, most children were nabbed from foster care or group homes, and being offered in casinos, street corners, and truck stops. The vast majority of victims of underage prostitution and sexual abuse are being offered on Internet sites.
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