(Cleveland) - From Sunday, June 15 through Friday, June 20, the FBI and its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners conducted Operation Cross Country VIII to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the United States. The operation included enforcement actions in cities throughout the greater Cleveland and Northern Ohio area and led to the recovery of 16 children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 12 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.
Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI said, “The success of this operation in Northern Ohio areas is unprecedented. Selling children for sex is a heinous crime and will not be tolerated. Protecting children is one of the FBI’s highest priorities and working together at all levels of law enforcement, such as we did in Operation Cross Country, makes it possible to identify, rescue and provide services for those children who become victims of crime.”