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FBI: 3 Austin Children Rescued From Prostitution Ring
Updated: Monday, June 23 2014, 06:32 PM CDT
It's called Operation Cross Country VII. The goal of the operation was to rescue victims of child sex trafficking and put the pimps behind bars.
During the four day sting operation, FBI along with local law enforcement recovered 167 children and arrested more than 280 pimps in 106 different cities across the county.
"I think it's an indicator that the crime problem continues to increase and that's consistent with the numbers we are finding throughout the nation," San Antonio FBI Special Agent Media Coordinator Michelle Lee said.
SIx of the children rescued were found in Central Texas, three from Austin and three from San Antonio.
As for arrests, three pimps were arrested in Austin and one in San Antonio.
"I don't think any of us can imagine the lives that some of these children are exposed too and I can tell you one victim is too many," APD Assistant Police Chief Troy Gay said.
FBI agents say they targeted specific areas like roadside motels, known for sex trafficking.
"The operation nationally targeted venues such as street tracks, truck stops, motels, casinos, internet web sites, and social media platforms used to facilitate child prostitution," Austin FBI Special Agent Daniel Powers said.
The children rescued were all under the age of 17 and are receiving counseling and help finding a safe place to live, officials say.