SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Tuesday, the FBI released the results of a nationwide human trafficking operation in which 149 underage trafficking victims were recovered and 153 pimps were arrested.
Though it was a nationwide operation, according to FBI Special Agent, Darrell Foxworth, FBI victim specialists coordinated with local law enforcement, victim advocates and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who provided additional support to the victims.
The youngest victim in this year's operation was 12 years old. Of the 149 victims recovered, three of those minors were transgender, and three were males.
During the operation, 90 victim specialists provided on-scene direct services to the victims of sex trafficking while 105 child victims received on-site direct services which may have included crisis intervention and resources for basic needs like medical, food, clothing and shelter.
"Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, took part in the operation in 135 cities across America, including San Diego.
"We're proud to partner with the FBI and provide support to both law enforcement and victim specialists in the field as they work to locate and recover survivors of child sex trafficking," said Linda Krieg, Acting Chief Executive Officer of NCMEC. "The number of children recovered and pimps arrested in this year's operation highlights the importance of these efforts today and every day in protecting our children from exploitation."
Operation Cross Country is part of the FBI's Innocence Lost national initiative, which began in 2003.The initiative, now in its ninth year, targets the criminal enterprises responsible for the commercial sex trafficking of children.
To report a crime involving the exploitation of child to the local FBI Innocence Lost Task Force please call (858) 320 -1800 option 2 or submit a tip online.
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