By Alaa Elassar, CNN
(CNN)– Two sisters, one 5 years of ages and the other 3 months old, were rescued in Denver by undercover agents throughout this year’s FBI-led sting operation versus sex traffickers, officials stated.
The supposed trafficker, a pal of the kids’s household, made a deal to offer them for sex for $600, the FBI said. The good friend communicated with an undercover representative, the FBI said in announcing details of Operation Cross Country XI.
While this alleged criminal offense alone is troubling, 82 other juveniles were saved during recently’s nationwide sweep. Some 120 individuals were arrested.
In spite of the arrest numbers, the work is far from over.
“Regrettably, the number of traffickers arrested– and the variety of kids recovered– strengthens why we have to continue to do this crucial work,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.
For these young children, life might never return to the way it was in the past. Holly Gibbs, a child sex trafficking survivor and the patient care director of Dignity Health, stated, “Human trafficking is a worldwide public health crisis. What took place to these children is a tragedy, and they have a long journey ahead of them. But for the moment, I am glad that they are safe.”
Average age of victims is 15
On October 13, the second day of the operation, a minor was saved by the FBI in El Paso, Texas, when a 16-year-old female victim was advertised online for “home entertainment,” officials said.
The girl was accompanied by a 21-year-old female who provided an undercover agent sexual intercourse with both her and the minor victim for $200, officials stated. Inning accordance with the FBI report, the lady along with the driver, another woman, who took the minor and 21-year-old to the undercover officer’s area, were arrested.
Among the recuperated victims across the country was one from Russia. Local and state companies were involved in the operation, as were authorities as far as the Philippines and Thailand.
The typical age of the victims recovered from this year’s operation is 15, the FBI stated. Sellers tried to pimp them to outsiders from hotels, truck stops or online.
Often, sex trafficking can involve relative or household pals.
Bradley Myles, CEO of the Polaris Task, which launched a human trafficking hotline, says traffickers typically victimize those with injury in their childhood history. And, he stated, there often are issues down the roadway.
“There are ACEs, adverse youth experiences, and the more ACEs that somebody has the greater likelihood that they’ll experience other forms of injury and abuse in life,” stated Myles, who was not associated with the operation but said he hopes the children are provided the resources they have to one day recover.
Focusing on the victims
At an interview in Denver on Thursday, District Lawyer George Brauchler advised traffickers that undercover agents and job force officers are constantly hiding, be it behind electronic cameras, on the Web or in a gambling establishment, prepared to make another bust.
“To those out there who are viewing this who might get themselves at the opportunity to exploit kids or to take part in even the adult sex trade, this is a little a caution. … The people that you can’t see behind those video cameras, they are fins. They are fins in the water and they represent sharks who exist all the time.”
“And my recommendations to you is to avoid of those waters where the kids are, to avoid of those waters where exploited grownups are for sex, because they are out there and they will get you. And when they get you, my workplace will manage the rest.”
The FBI continues to work with companies and organization specializing in child protective services for the 84 saved children.
There are still thousands of kids secured shackles as chess pieces in a game of sex slavery, and without consistent efforts, Myles stated he doesn’t believe it will end
“We are seeing about approximately 23 cases a day. So we need that everyday drumbeat of a 24-hour action throughout the nation,” he stated. “Operation Cross Nation doesn’t occur every day. But these cases are breaking throughout our nation every day.”
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