In the past week, the FBI with local, state and federal law enforcement partners, including the Lansing Police Department, conducted Operation Cross Country VIII, a weeklong enforcement action to address commercial child sex trafficking.
The Chicago Division of the FBI worked with a number of law enforcement partners to recover 13 juveniles victimized through prostitution. Four pimps allegedly engaged in the commercial sexual exploitation of children were arrested on state charges, and an additional 11 pimps were identified.
Locally, law enforcement officers from the FBI, Cook County Sheriff’s Police and Chicago Police Department participated in the sweep, along with the United States attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois, Illinois State Police, Cook County state’s attorney’s office and Lansing Police Department, according to the FBI.
The operation took place in 106 cities across 54 FBI field divisions nationwide and resulted in 168 recoveries of children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 281 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.
"Targeting and harming America's children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences," said FBI Director James B. Comey in a prepared statement. "Every child deserves to be safe and sound. Through targeted measures like Operation Cross Country, we can end the cycle of victimization."