In addition to the 168 kids that were rescued from the sex trade, 281 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.
“These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Comey remarked in announcing the annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he added, “These are America’s children.”
This is the eighth such week long-operation, which this year unfolded in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the streets.
“There is no more meaningful work that the FBI participates in than rescuing children,” Comey said.
He said one concerning trend is the increasing prevalence of children who are being prostituted online.
It seems the voices of former victims are now speaking up to a wider audience and advocacy groups are growing and finally starting to push back against what has grown into a true epidemic here in the United States.