Five juveniles were recovered and seven alleged pimps were arrested in Sacramento, Fairfield and Fresno during a recent nationwide operation by law enforcement agencies targeting human trafficking.
The initiative, dubbed Operation Cross Country IX, is a national program spearheaded by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, along with state and local law enforcement partners across the country, according to an FBI news release. The program targets the criminal enterprises responsible for commercial sex trafficking of children. In the operation carried out last week, 149 underage trafficking victims were recovered and 154 alleged pimps arrested, officials said.
In the area served by the FBI’s Sacramento field office, operations were conducted multiple days, focusing on the metropolitan areas of Sacramento, Fairfield and Fresno. These operations resulted in the arrest of 90 adults for various offenses, including probation violations and prostitution-related charges, officials said.
In Sacramento, the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes officers from the Sacramento Police Department, recovered two minors and arrested three alleged pimps, while the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department recovered one minor.
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In Fairfield, the FBI, Fairfield Police Department, Solano County Sheriff’s Office and the Vallejo Police Department recovered one child and arrested two alleged pimps.
The Fresno operations conducted by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force – which includes officers from the Fresno Police Department – the Fresno Sheriff’s Office and the Tulare Police Department resulted in the recovery of one minor and the arrest of two alleged pimps.
“While the arrest of the offender has an immediate result, only recovering a child can offer him or her an opportunity to begin to accept services necessary to begin the healing process and restore a sense of normalcy,” Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the FBI’s Sacramento field office said in a written statement.
Operation Cross Country IX is the largest in the nine-year history of the initiative, with 53 FBI field offices and 73 Child Exploitation Task Forces taking part in the operation in 135 cities across the country. Nationwide, more than 500 law enforcement officials conducted both “in-call” and “out-call” operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops and other areas known to be frequented by prostitutes, sex traffickers and their customers, officials said.