National News
FBI Raids Sex Offenders In Major Cities
By Nashfa Hawwa
Aug 1, 2013 - 11:16:50 AM

Ron Hosko
—The FBI has arrested more than 150 people suspected to be sex offenders and pimps as a result of a three day nationwide operation called Operation Cross Country VII.


The operation focused on recovering underage victims of prostitution and sexual exploitation. The operation conducted raids in 76 cities including Los Angeles, Orange County and Riverside Counties. The raids by FBI successfully recovered 105 victims of sexual exploitation, trafficking, and underage prostitution.


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 Washington D.C., “child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America.” He further added that, "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.”


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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