Arizona law enforcement agencies participated in Operation Cross Country, the FBI’s annual law enforcement action focused on recovering underage victims of sex trafficking. In Arizona, four juveniles were rescued and seven alleged sex traffickers were arrested.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), announced that a total of 84 minors were recovered and 120 traffickers were arrested as part of the Operation that ran from October 12-15, 2017.
The Operation took place this year in 55 FBI field offices and involved 78 state and local task forces, consisting of hundreds of law enforcement partners. This year’s coordinated operations took place with several international partners, including Canada (Operation Northern Spotlight), the United Kingdom (Aident 8), Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
As part of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos, and truck stops, as well as on street corners and Internet websites. The youngest victim recovered during this year’s operation was 3 months old, and the average age of victims recovered during the operation was 15 years old. Minors recovered during Cross Country Operations are offered assistance from state protective services and the FBI’s Victim Services Division. Depending on the level of need, victims are offered medical and mental health counseling, as well as a number of other services.
Operation Cross Country XI is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003 and has yielded more than 6,500 child identifications and locations.