Local Children Rescued During FBI Sex Trafficking Raids - NBC Connecticut

Local Children Rescued During FBI Sex Trafficking Raids



    FBI Rescues Minors in Sex Trafficking Raids

    The FBI rescued 105 minors during sex trafficking raids over the weekend. Some of the juveniles rescued were in Connecticut. (Published Monday, July 29, 2013)

    Investigators cracking down on child sex trafficking said they saved 105 children in raids across the country this weekend, including five juveniles in Connecticut.

    Over the last 72 hours, the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and local law enforcement agencies conducted Operation Cross Country VII in 76 cities to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the country.

    Of the 150 suspected pimps arrested, one was in Connecticut.

    According to the FBI, they had help from State Police as well as police in towns including Berlin, West Hartford, Norwich, Milford and New Haven.

    Police worked late into the night and investigated at local hotels where they suspected underage prostitution might be taking place.

    "The truly sad thing about underage prostitution is not only that it exists, but that child prostitutes are frequently forced into this lifestyle," Special Agent in Charge, Kimberly Mertz, of the New Haven FBI, said in a statement.

    "It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of how they came to be involved in prostitution and their inability to get out," Mertz said. "What is gratifying, however, is the true dedication of the agents and officers who work on these matters."

    John Ryan, CEO of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America’s children are being sold for sex every day and many are on the Internet.

    Last month, the state passed legislation to crackdown on sexual exploitation, allowing authorities to go after money and property obtained through sexual exploitation and people trafficking. 

    Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division established in 2003 to address the growing problem of child prostitution.

    No additional information was available about the New Haven operation.

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