Prostitution and human trafficking are dark problems that law enforcement deals with, but residents don’t think about how often it happens in their community.
On July 25 the FBI, Department of Justice, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children launched Operation Cross Country, which is a national sweep, aimed at combating sex trafficking of children.
“Operation Cross country 7 included enforcement in 76 cities across the country. And it resulted in the recovery in 105 children and the arrest of 150 pimps who would be involved with the commercial exploitation of both adults and children,” said Ronald Hoski, Assistant Director of the FBI.
The Naperville Police Department took part in the operation locally and four prostitutes were arrested.
All four women are legal adults, but the FBI tells us they can question the women who can often lead them to pimps and networks where children are trafficked.
“They at times encounter adults that are victims as well. Or were victimized as children and are currently in prostitution as adults. So they do encounter adults, but the goal is children,” said Staca Shehan, who works at the Center For Missing and Exploited Children.
Authorities say the Internet and social networking has allowed prostitution networks to expand. It’s no longer just a problem in inner cities and on the streets.
“What Operation Cross Country has shown is that it’s not just an urban problem. It’s big cities, small cities, and suburban areas as well,” said Shehan.
Now that this operation brought the problems of prostitution and human trafficking to light authorities are asking those who see something to say something.
You can report tips to 1-800 THE-LOST or on cybertipline.com
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