105 Teens Rescued In Weekend Sex-Trafficking Raids [Video]

A total of 105 teens were rescued in sex-trafficking raids over the weekend. The raids included 70 different cities across the US. The FBI arrested 150 adults accused of sexually exploiting the teens.

Sex-trafficking, or human-trafficking, involves the forced sale of humans for sexual purposes. The victims are often teens and children.

Traffickers specifically target teens who are having problems at home, or are runaways. They use social media to target many teens, offering them compassion, understanding, and money. Homeless teens are simply picked up off the streets

Once a teen is involved with a “pimp,” they become trapped in a vicious cycle.

As reported by NBC News, the teens are sold on the streets, through classified ads, and online. It is estimated that nearly 250,000 teens and children are at risk of becoming involved in sex-trafficking.

Last weekend’s raid is one of the largest ever. Operation Cross-Country VII targeted hotels, casinos, social media sites, rest stops, and train stations. Officials rescued 105 teens, the youngest of which was 13.

As reported by FBI.gov, the operation is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost project, which is an effort to rescue children from prostitution. Since 2003, officials have rescued nearly 3,000 children and teens. Over 1,300 “pimps, madams, and their associates” have been convicted of selling children for sex.

The project works in cooperation with federal, state, and local, authorities to rescue children from sexual exploitation and abuse. A total of 230 agencies assisted with Operation Cross-Country VII. Within 72 hours, more than 100 teens were rescued from their captors.

Authorities explain that the traffickers will be charged with numerous state and federal charges, including trafficking in humans.

John Ryan, of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, explains that sex-trafficking of teens is an “escalating threat against America’s children.” He congratulates the agencies involved in the raid as they are “bringing justice to those who violently manipulate these children, and sell them for sex.”

While 105 teens were rescued, thousands remain under the control of adults who exploit them for sex. Eliminating human and sex-trafficking is an ongoing effort, as it has become a critical issue worldwide.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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