The FBI revealed Monday that it has rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution in the United States and arrested 150 people described as “pimps” and others in a series of raids. One suspect arrested within the FBI’s Omaha Division was among the 150.
No information about the Omaha area arrest was immediately available. No juveniles were rescued in the area. 33 others were arrested in the Omaha/Council Bluffs/Lincoln sweeps. Most of them are Johns and prostitutes.
The campaign, known as “Operation Cross Country” was the largest of its type and conducted under the FBI’s “Innocence Lost” initiative.
Investigators say the pimps would prey on troubled children - those with low self-esteem and minimal social support.
"I'm very luck that I got away with no arrests. No kidnapping. Never got hurt. I'm lucky. I'm one of a few who can say that," said Alexandria, a child prostitute who had been rescued by the FBI in previous raids. "They can take everything from you. Freedom...will...you can't let them take your heart. You have to keep fighting."
The FBI says the campaign has rescued 2,700 children since 2003. It has been credited for 1,350 convictions and lengthy sentences, including some life terms.