FBI sex trafficking sting rescues four area children

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Four children in Oregon and Southwest Washington were among 52 rescued nationwide last week as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “Operation Cross Country IV” sex trafficking suspect sweep.

The children and eight adult pimps were discovered during the Thursday, Oct. 22, sweep at five separate Portland-area places. The FBI did not disclose where the children were found because the investigation is ongoing.

Oregon’s Department of Human Services took the underage children into protective custody. Law enforcement officers and deputies from local agencies took custody of the pimps, charging them with a variety of crimes. They also cited 29 adult female prostitutes and arrested one “john” or caught in the sting.

Operation Cross Country IV took place in three dozen major cities across the nation. It was part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost program designed to end human sex trafficking and blunt the use of underage girls in prostitution and pornography.

“No child deserves the abuse and the violence these children face every day,” said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Taking part in the Portland-area 72-hour sting and suspect sweep were police departments in Beaverton, Portland, Gresham and Tigard, and sheriff’s offices in Washington and Multnomah counties. Other agencies in Southwest Washington also were part of the local program.

The national sweep recovered 52 children used as prostitutes. The sting targeted truck stops, casinos, street “tracks” and Web sites, based on intelligence gathered by local officers.

source: http://www.theoutlookonline.com/news/print_story.php?story_id=125659020872096800

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