FBI’s Operation Cross Country Wrap-up: “These Are America’s Children”

Since 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative, or “Operation Cross Country” has Operation Cross Country mapresulted in the identification and recovery of over 3600 children from sexual exploitation and trafficking. This is the eighth year of the initiative.

In a press release on Monday June 23rd, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James B. Comey highlighted the successes of the FBI in an otherwise tragic scene of commercial sex trafficking of children:

“This year’s operation was the largest to date, with 54 FBI field offices and 106 cities. Over the past several days, together with our state and local partners, we arrested 281 individuals on charges related to the sexual exploitation of children. And we recovered 168 children. These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life. These are our kids. On our street corners. Our truck stops. Our motels. These are America’s children.”

In the last week of the operation, the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies arrested 281 pimps who had taken advantage of “the most vulnerable and the most promising of our people.”

Mr. Comey concluded his remarks in saying, “I hate that we have to do this work. I hate it. I love the people who are devoted to doing this work. There is no more meaningful work that the FBI does than rescuing children.” This press release and further resources on Operation Cross Country re-emphasize the reality of human trafficking and child exploitation.

It takes thousands of man-hours for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat child trafficking. It is vital to future generations’ sense of national security for the United States to continue to lead the charge in eliminating the avenues in which the traffickers operate. The United States must continue to dig deep into the trafficking networks to spread the word: America’s children are not for sale.

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/fbi-s-operation-cross-country-wrap-up-these-are-america-s-children