An FBI operation focused on combatting child sex trafficking around the world resulted in the arrests of 15 suspected pimps and associates in the Philadelphia region, authorities announced Tuesday.
Eighty-two minors were rescued and 239 alleged traffickers and their associates were arrested as part of this year’s Operation Cross Country, an annual international crime fighting effort, according to the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Each year, Operation Cross Country shines a spotlight on the scourge of child sex trafficking,” said Michael Harpster, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, in a prepared statement. “Sadly, children are being sexually exploited in our area – and across the country – every single day. The FBI and its partners on our Child Exploitation Task Forces will never stop working to find and free them, and ensure traffickers are brought to justice.”