I'm currently writing and researching for my second novel, Sacred. The book focuses on the child sex-slave industry centered in Eastern Europe and Russia that stretches all over the world. One of the 'myths' I have stumbled upon is the belief that this kind of thing doesn't happen in the United States. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but I'm glad our government is doing something about it. Today, 48 children are free from this wretched industry. This article is posted on CNN.
(CNN) -- Law enforcement officials arrested more than 500 people, and took custody of 48 juveniles in a coordinated 29-city weekend sweep aimed at combating child prostitution, the FBI announced Monday.
Task forces made up largely of state and local police officers arrested and booked what authorities said were 464 adult prostitutes, 55 pimps and 55 customers on state charges. While most faced local charges, a senior FBI official said he expected there were would be some federal charges as well.
The FBI Monday said 19 searches were conducted, netting a total of $438,000 in cash, plus illegal drugs, cars and computers.
The four dozen juveniles were recovered in the third phase of Operation Cross Country, an initiative that seeks to help child prostitutes and crack down on people who control them and patronize them.
In the previous coordinated operations, authorities recovered 21 alleged child prostitutes last June and 47 in October.
In 2003 the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children launched what was called the Innocence Lost National Initiative to address what had become a growing problem of children forced into prostitution. Many were young runaways.
Officials say the 32 Innocence Lost task forces formed nationwide have now recovered about 670 children in the six years, and seized more than $3 million in cash.
The most recent operation involved law enforcement agencies in several states including California, Alaska, Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon, Alabama, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota and Arizona.