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National FBI crackdown on child sex trafficking rescues Elk Grove, Sacramento teens

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Authorities rescued three teenage girls – from Elk Grove, Sacramento and Fresno – this weekend in a nationwide crackdown on child sex trafficking, the FBI said Monday.

The girls – ages 14 and 15 – were among 105 children who were removed from forced prostitution during the seventh round of a campaign known as Operation Cross Country.

This year, the operation involved a sweep of 76 U.S. cities, and led to the arrest of 150 adults, including two Carmichael residents.

Forty-seven FBI field offices partnered with local, state and federal law enforcement officers in the sweep.

The Sacramento Division of the FBI reported the recovery of two victims: a 14-year-old Elk Grove girl and a 15-year-old Fresno girl.

The Las Vegas Division of the FBI reported the rescue of two additional victims, including a 14-year-old girl from Sacramento.

In addition, two Carmichael residents were taken into custody, according to the Reno Police Department.

Reno police identified the suspects as Shanequa Charles, 22, and her sister, Jamourian Charles, 19.

Shanequa Charles was being held without bail on two child sex trafficking counts and one related to child pornography. Jamourian Charles was being held on one count of child sex trafficking. Her bail was set at $22,500.

Since its launch in 2003, the nationwide campaign has rescued more than 2,300 sex trafficking victims ranging in age from 13 to 17, authorities said.

Information leading to the rescues typically comes from investigations targeting truck stops, casinos and websites that advertise dating or escort services, the FBI said.

Over the years, the Sacramento Division has recovered 29 juveniles and arrested 66 adults on child sex trafficking charges.

The recovery of the 14-year-old Sacramento girl occurred in Reno at around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Authorities said their two-day sweep focused on the Fourth Street corridor of downtown Reno and individuals using the Internet to conduct prostitution transactions.

A FBI victim advocate was present during the operation and later met with the girl, the Reno Police Department said.

Call The Bee's Kurt Chirbas, (916) 321-1030.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Kurt Chirbas



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