Two juveniles were recovered in the Chicago area as part of a three-day FBI sweep that rescued 105 teens involved in child prostitution nationwide, local officials said.
The Chicago Division of the FBI worked with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Chicago Police Department as well as nearly a dozen suburban police departments to rescue two teens engaging in illicit sexual activities, Chicago FBI spokeswoman Dana C. McNeal said.
In addition 96 adults were arrested on solicitation charges, one pimp was arrested and one pimp was identified as part of the local sweep.
Over the past 72 hours, the FBI, along with local, state and federal law enforcement, targeted 76 cities across 47 FBI divisions.
The sweep, labeled “Operation Cross Country VII,” was a collaborative effort to address commercial child sex trafficking across the country. It led to the recovery of 105 children being victimized through prostitution and 150 pimps arrested.
“Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America,” Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said. “This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”
“Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America’s children are being sold for sex every day, many on the Internet,” John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said. “We’re honored and proud to partner with the FBI, which has taken the lead in tackling this escalating problem.”