FBI: 168 children rescued in sex-trafficking crackdown, 6 in Wisconsin
168 children rescued in sex-trafficking crackdown, 6 in Wis
By Amie Winters (WQOW News)
Madison, WI (News Release) – Robert J. Shields, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) of the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in conjunction with numerous Wisconsin law enforcement and social service agencies, participated in the nationwide initiative known as Operation Cross Country Eight.
Operation Cross Country, an annual law enforcement action that took place last week in 106 U.S. cities, highlights ongoing efforts by the Bureau—together with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners—to address the sexual exploitation of juveniles as part of our Innocence Lost National Initiative.
Since its creation in 2003, the Innocence Lost program has resulted in the identification and recovery of approximately 3,400 minors who have been sexually exploited. This year marks the eighth Operation Cross Country, the largest such enforcement action to date: 168 trafficking victims were recovered and 281 pimps were arrested across the country. In Wisconsin, 6 juveniles victims were rescued, and 12 pimps were arrested over a four day period.
“The FBI and its partners recognize that human trafficking and crimes against children not only impacts metropolitan areas such as Milwaukee, but affects communities across the whole state,” said SAC Shields. “Although we participated in Operation Cross Country Eight, we will remain vigilant with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners in bringing those individuals to justice who prey on our most vulnerable citizens.”
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was created in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), to address the growing problem of domestic child sex trafficking in the United States.
To learn more about Operation Cross Country and the Innocence Lost National Initiative, visit www.fbi.gov,www.justice.gov or www.ncmec.org.
Operation Cross Country VIII Participants:
Appleton Police Department
Baraboo Police Department
Beloit Police Department
Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare
Dane County Sheriff’s Office
Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations
Edgerton Police Department
FBI – Madison Resident Agency
Fond du Lac Police Department
Glendale Police Department
Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department
Kenosha Police Department
Madison Police Department
Medical College of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program
Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office
Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office
Milwaukee Police Department
Mount Pleasant Police Department
Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office
Pleasant Prairie Police Department Racine County Sheriff’s Department
Racine Human Trafficking Task Force
Racine Police Department
Rock County Sheriff’s Department
Sturtevant Police Department
Town of Waterford Police Department
United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Police
West Allis Police Department
Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigations
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI says agents and local police in the last week rescued 168 victims of child sex trafficking, including many who had never been reported missing.
In addition, 281 pimps were arrested as part of the same nationwide initiative, an annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country.
FBI Director James Comey told reporters Monday that the children who were rescued did not come from faraway lands but were instead “America’s children.”
This is the eighth such week-long operation. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the streets.
Comey says one worrisome trend is the increasing prevalance of children being prostituted online.