FBI Rescues Infant, 5-Year-Old In Child Sex Trafficking Sting

Henrietta Brewer
October 19, 2017

In all, 84 minors were rescued and 120 traffickers arrested during the FBI's 11th Operation Cross Country.

"The success of OCCXI in MI is due to the local, state and federal partners who share the same passionate commitment to disrupt and prevent the sexual exploitation of children and adults", David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI, said.

The operation, dubbed "Operation Cross Country", spanned multiple states and relied on support from 78 state and local task forces consisting of hundreds of law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, and victim assistance specialists, the bureau said.

A 17-year-old White Plains girl was also recovered and returned to her guardian as part of the operation in the metropolitan area which nationally "is created to focus attention and raise awareness of the problem in our local communities", according to officials.

The FBI said the youngest victim recovered during the operation was 3 months old and the average victims recovered were 15 years old.

Numerous children are receiving medical and mental health counselling after being taken into care by child protective custody.

A crackdown on underage sex trafficking across the United States, including Berks County, has resulted in dozens of minors being recovered and more than 100 people being arrested.

The 11th-annual "Operation Cross Country" wrapped up on October 15 after four days of arrests, and netted 120 alleged sex traffickers and 84 victims. "It's about making sure we offer help and a way to these young victims who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle". The infant and her five-year-old sister were rescued after a family friend tried to sell both children to an undercover officer for sex in exchange for $600.

"We will never stop working to find and free trafficked children, and ensure those responsible are brought to justice", Harpster said. The subject was placed under arrest.

Also on October 13, a 16-year old female victim was recovered by FBI El Paso, after an undercover agent called an online advertisement for entertainment. The woman was arrested on federal charges, in addition to a second adult female who drove the minor to the meeting point.

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