Now in its 11th iteration, Operation Cross Country has expanded beyond the United States, with Canada, the United Kingdom, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand undertaking similar operations.
Over a three day period, 33 adult prostitutes, one minor victim and three sex traffickers were taken into custody in the greater Toledo area.
"Operation Cross Country is a ideal example of our commitment each and every day to the fight against child sex trafficking". "It's about making sure we offer help and a way out to these young victims who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle of abuse". FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge David Gelios said while the recovery of exploited juveniles is the priority, the FBI will continue to work tirelessly to rescue anyone being commercially trafficked and exploited.
As news of the arrests poured in, so did the horrific details of child sex trafficking operations.
In addition to the rescue of 12 minors and the arrest of eight traffickers in MI, 46 adults involved in prostitution were temporarily placed in custody.
During operations in Denver, a three-month-old girl and her five-year-old sister were recovered after a friend who was staying with the family made a deal with an undercover officer to sell both children for sex in exchange for US$600 (€506).
Additionally, Director Wray said, "This operation isn't just about taking traffickers off the street".
In Shreveport, agents rescued a 17-year-old high school student who traveled approximately two hours to Shreveport to engage in prostitution. According to the release, victims are offered counseling and care from the state as well as the FBI's Victim Services Division.
Casper Police SGT. Dan Dunas spoke about the operation, "It's kind of a game of cat and mouse, where it's dynamic and everything changes every year, you know trends change, patterns change, so every operation cross county is a new year for us".
A 21-year-old female met the agent and offered sex with her and the 16-year-old girl for $200.
"Operation Cross Country" is an initiative to recover sex trafficked minors and target criminal enterprises responsible for commercial sex trafficking, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "There's no prejudice when it comes to child sex trafficking", said Bridge Patton, Public Affairs Specialist/Media Representative for the FBI's Kansas City office.