Law enforcement authorities rescued 105 children and arrested 150 people in the largest child sex- trafficking crackdown in U.S. history, the FBI said.
The three-day nationwide operation covered 76 U.S. cities and included 230 federal, state and local law enforcement groups, according to Ron Hosko, an assistant director for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Authorities relied heavily on social media websites and classified advertisements as they set up the operation, Hosko said at a news conference today in Washington.
“Public awareness of this issue is critical to addressing these deplorable crimes,” Hosko said.
The operation was the seventh of its kind as federal and state law enforcement authorities have increased their focus on child sex trafficking in recent years. The youngest child recovered was 13 years old, Hosko said.
The operation, known as “Cross Country,” was undertaken as part of the FBI’s “Innocence Lost” initiative. Since 2003, that effort has resulted in the recovery of more than 2,700 children, the FBI said.
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