A nationwide FBI sex trafficking sting last week included the recovery of two Missouri juveniles in the Kansas City area. Kansas City area FBI Spokesperson Bridget Patton said eight pimps were also arrested in the Kansas City and Wichita area.
Patton said sex trafficking happens everywhere.
“Sex trafficking of juveniles is not something that just takes place in large cities. This is a heinous crime that takes place across the entire nation, from Puerto Rico to Maine. It does not necessarily just have to be at large sporting events or in large cities. It can be in rural areas. It can be in the heart of America,” said Patton.
Patton said the victims are receiving care.
“Federal, state and local law enforcement also work with service providers to assist these children who have been victimized,” said Patton.
Nationwide, 150 pimps and other suspects were arrested and 149 sexually exploited children were recovered during “Operation Cross Country 9.” More than 500 law enforcement officers participated in stings at hotels, casinos, truck stops and other locations known to be frequented by pimps and prostitutes.
The sting, which is in its ninth year, was spearheaded by the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and state and local law enforcement partners nationwide. “Operation Cross Country” is part of the Innocence Lost program. More than 2,000 pimps and other suspects convicted and 4,800 sexually-exploited children recovered since the program’s existence.