Six minors were rescued and eight suspected pimps were arrested last week in the Bay Area during a nationwide FBI-led human trafficking sting, the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office said Thursday.
Fifty two johns were also arrested in connection with the operation, which the FBI said is the most arrests made since Operation Cross Country IX’s inception in 2003.
The FBI can now prosecute johns under laws made possible through the Federal Human Trafficking Bill, according to a press release.
The FBI worked with 30 Bay Area law enforcement agencies during the operation, which resulted in 149 underage trafficking victims recovered and 153 alleged pimps arrested across the U.S. last week.
In the Bay Area, a 16-year-old Milpitas resident who was missing for almost a month was recovered in Oakland, the press release said. The youngest victim nationwide was 12 years old.
“Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “The Department of Justice will continue to aggressively and persistently fight this heinous crime, and to hold its perpetrators accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The operation focused on criminal enterprises that sex trafficked children, the FBI said. Ninety victim specialists helped 105 child victims, providing them with crisis intervention and basic resources.
The investigation was conducted inside hotels, casinos, truck stops and other areas known for sex trafficking, the FBI said.
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