Multi-Agency Sweep Targets Countywide Child Prostitution

The FBI announces arrests in San Diego County and nationwide as part of ‘Operation Cross Country.’

The North County Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force participated in a national crackdown on underage prostitution that rescued two minors from sex slavery and arrested seven suspected pimps in the San Diego area, authorities announced Monday.

The three-day, multi-agency operation, dubbed “Operation Cross Country,” targeted an underworld that poses a “major threat to children across America,” according to Kevin Perkins, acting executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.

“It is a violent and deplorable crime, and we are working with our partners to disrupt and put behind bars individuals and members of criminal enterprises who would sexually exploit children,” Perkins said.

Nationwide, 79 juveniles were rescued and 104 people were jailed on suspicion of pimping last week, according to the FBI.

About 2,200 children have been located to date and taken off the streets by 47 Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups. The investigations have led to 1,017 convictions, eight life prison terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets, authorities said.

More than 8,500 local, state and federal law enforcement officers representing 414 agencies participated in the latest mounting of “Operation Cross Country,” which had been conducted five prior times.

The San Diego Innocent Lost Task Force coordinated the local efforts. The multi-agency task force consists of detectives, officers and agents from the San Diego Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, county Sheriff’s Department, Escondido Police Department and the FBI. Its cases are prosecuted by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Also involved in the operation were the San Diego Harbor Police Department, Chula Vista Police Department, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations.

-City News Service

dawn June 26, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Thank you for all you're work. No one caught my abuser but he did die alone in the street
Lz June 26, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Are the majority of these children runaways? Are they stolen? What ages are you talking about?
Laurie Davis June 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
CALIFORNIA VOTERS, Protect children from sexual predators! Please read about The CASE ACT Slated for the November 2012 Statewide General Election Ballot, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) Act will strengthen penalties against human trafficking and improve Megan’s Law against online predators. Victims are counting on you and California to speak up! http://www.caseact.org/
Candy Hershey June 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
In case you didn't know: sex trafficking is the 3rd largest crime in the world. The average ages are 6 - 16. The average cost of buying a human has been devalued to $90 US. Some good organizations that are fighting this are: origincoffee.org; International Justice Mission see www.ijm.org; Agape International Mission see agapewebsite.org
Dixie July 08, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I can't imagine the horror these children face, alone, suffering and we will never know how many just disappear or go down as a "run away." The pimps are slim but the johns are no better.. they need to be held accountable. Publish their names, faces and whatever else is needed to get them known to the public. This is organized crime in the cruelest fashion!


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