A three-day nationwide sweep targeting underage prostitution ended in the recovery of 105 children — including two in Chicago — and 150 pimps arrested on state and federal charges, the FBI announced Monday.
Operation Cross Country VII took place in conjunction with state and local law enforcement, including the Lansing Police Department and various other suburban police agencies as well as the Cook County Sheriff's Police, the Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
The efforts also resulted in the arrest of one pimp in Chicago. It was not clear in the news release the extent of the Lansing Police Department's involvement in the operation.
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to address child prostitution.
"Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America's children are being sold for sex every day, many on the Internet," said John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
To date, the FBI and its partner agencies have recovered more than 2,700 children from the streets. The investigations and subsequent 1,350 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 10 life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets, the release states.