OAKLAND (KRON) — Dozens of alleged pimps, prostitutes, and johns are facing criminal charges while at least six children have been rescued from prostitution in the Bay Area after local officials joined the FBI in a national sting aimed at cracking down on child sex trafficking.
In all, the FBI says officers around the country taking part in Operation Cross Country VIII rescued 168 children from forced sexual abuse operations. 281 alleged pimps are facing criminal charges nationwide.
Locally, police, sheriff’s deputies, parole officers, and other law enforcement agents joined the FBI in checking up on people with convictions involving sexual abuse of a child.
“These are the people that would likely by looking at child pornography, likely purchasing children to have sex with,” Adriane Beckman with San Mateo County Juvenile Probation said. “They’ve been convicted of crimes that involve children, be it molest or rape. There is a connection between people accessing child pornography and then going to real life victims.”
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KRON 4 went along on a series of such raids last week. Although no one was arrested on the sweeps we followed, across the Bay Area authorities arrested 13 alleged pimps, 57 adult prostitutes, and 54 men suspected of patronizing prostitutes.
The six children were rescued in Alameda County, San Francisco, South City, Contra Costa County, Oakland, and the city of Santa Clara. The largest number of alleged pimps was found in Alameda County, San Francisco, Marina, and Santa Clara.
Officials say 19 adult prostitutes were arrested in Oakland and 16 in San Jose. The biggest target area for johns was in the North Bay with 22 arrested in Marin County and 17 in San Francisco.
“Targeting and harming America’s children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences,” said FBI Director James B. Comey in a written statement. “Every child deserves to be safe and sound. Through targeted measures like Operation Cross Country, we can end the cycle of victimization.”
Stay tuned to KRON 4, the KRON 4 Mobile App, and KRON4.com for comprehensive coverage of Operation Cross Country VIII.
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