149 child sex trafficking victims rescued in nationwide effort - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

149 child sex trafficking victims rescued in nationwide effort

In New Orleans, authorities recovered three underage victims and arrested seven pimps as part of the takedown. (Source: Flickr Commons) In New Orleans, authorities recovered three underage victims and arrested seven pimps as part of the takedown. (Source: Flickr Commons)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The FBI announced Tuesday that 149 underage sex trafficking victims were recovered and 153 pimps were arrested in a nationwide human trafficking operation conducted throughout the United States last week. 

In New Orleans, authorities recovered three underage victims and arrested seven pimps as part of the takedown.

The initiative, dubbed Operation Cross Country IX, is a national effort spearheaded by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, along with federal, state and local law enforcement partners across the country. The initiative, now in its ninth year, targets the criminal enterprises responsible for the commercial sex trafficking of children. 

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 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. Due to the size of the operation, FBI victim specialists coordinated with local law enforcement victim advocates and non-governmental organizations who provided additional support to the victims.

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, which include federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, taking part in the operation in 135 cities across America, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. Nationwide, more than 500 law enforcement officials, including investigators and officers from federal, state and local law enforcement organizations, conducted both “in-call” and “out-call” operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops and in other areas known to be frequented by both prostitutes, sex-traffickers, and their customers.

Participating in the operation were officials from the FBI, U. S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana, Homeland Security Investigations, Louisiana Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Department of Probation & Parole, Bossier City Police Department, Bossier City Marshal’s Office, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police Department, New Orleans Police Department, Shreveport Police Department, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the DELTA Task Force.

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