Home News Press Room Press Releases Forty-Eight Children Recovered in Operation Cross Country III

Forty-Eight Children Recovered in Operation Cross Country III

Washington, D.C. February 23, 2009
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

During the past week, the FBI joined our law enforcement partners in a three-day national enforcement action as part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative. This operation, known as Operation Cross Country III, included enforcement operations in 29 cities across the country and led to the recovery of 48 children being prostituted domestically. Additionally, 571 criminals were arrested on a combination of state and federal charges for the domestic trafficking of children for prostitution and solicitation.

“We continue to pursue those who exploit our nation’s children,” said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III. “We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence.”

In the spring of 2003, the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Child Exploitation-Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), formed the Innocence Lost National Initiative to address the growing problem of children forced into prostitution. This program brings state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and social service providers all from around the country to NCMEC, where the groups are trained together. In addition, CEOS has reinforced the tr aining by assigning prosecutors to help bring cases in those cities plagued by child prostitution. To date, the 32 Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups have recovered 670 children. The investigations and subsequent convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including multiple 25-years-to-life sentences and the seizure of more than $3 million in assets.

The FBI would like to thank its partners who participated in Operation Cross Country and ongoing enforcement efforts, specifically:

Alsip Police Department (IL); Anaheim Police Department (CA); Anchorage Police Department (AK); Ann Arbor Police Department (MI); Atlanta Police Department (GA); Aurora Police Department (CO); Beaverton Police Department (OR); Bensenville Police Department (IL); Beverly Police Department (MA); Birmingham Police Department (AL); Boston Police Department (MA); Brandon Police Department (MS); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CA); California Department of Justice (CA); Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (NC); Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office (OR); Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (OR); Clackamas County/Multnomah County Victims Assistance (OR); Clarendon Hills Police Department (IL); College Park Police Department (GA); Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department (IL); Corvallis Police Department (OR); Dallas Police Department (TX); Metropolitan Police Department (DC); Denver Police Department (CO); Des Plaines Police Department (IL); Detroit Police Department (MI); Downers Grove Police Department (IL); DuPage County Sheriff’s Police Department (IL); Elk Grove Village Police Department (IL); Essex Police Department (MA); Eugene Police Department (OR); Evanston Police Department (IL); Everett Police Department (MA); Everett Police Department (WA); Florida Attorney General’s Office (FL); Flowood Police Department (MS); Fulton County Sheriff’s Office (OH); Glenview Police Department (IL); Glenwood Police Department (IL); Gloucester Police Department (MA); Grayslake Police Department (IL); Gurnee Police Department (IL); Gwinnett County Police Department (GA); Hapeville Police Department (GA); Harris County Sheriff’s Office (TX); Highland Park Police Department (IL); Hillsboro Police Department (OR); Hinds County Sheriff’s Office (MS); Houston Police Department (TX); Immigration and Custom Enforcement; Internal Revenue Service; Jackson Police Department (MS); Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (FL); Janus Youth Services (OR); Kent Police Department (WA); Lake County Sheriff’s Department (IL); Lakewood Police Department (CO); Lakewood Police Department (WA); Lane County Parole (OR); Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (NV); Lifeworks NW (OR); Lima Police Department (OH); Lombard Police Department (IL); Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (VA); Lynwood Police Department (WA); Madison Heights Police Department (MI); Malden Police Department (MA); Marblehead Police Department (MA); Massachusetts State Police Department (MA); Melrose Park Police Department (IL); Melrose Police Department (MA); Miami Dade Police Department (FL); Miami Police Department (FL); Michigan State Police (MI); Minneapolis Police Department (MN); Minnetonka Police Department (MN); Mississippi Attorney General’s Office (MS); Montgomery County Police Department (MD); Moreno Valley Police Department (CA); Mount Prospect-Arlington Heights Police Department (IL); Mount Vernon Police Department (IL); Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office (OR) ; Multnomah County Juvenile Services Division (OR); Mundelein Police Department (IL); Naperville Police Department (IL); National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; Norwood Police Department (MA); Oak Brook Police Department (IL); Oak Lawn Police Department (IL); Oakland Police Department (CA); Ontario Police Department (CA); Orange County District Attorney’s Office (CA); Oregon Department of Human Services (OR); Peabody Police Department (MA); Phoenix Police Department (AZ); Portland Police Department Victim Assistance (OR); Portland Metro Gang Task Force (OR); Miami Beach Police Department (FL); Portland Police Bureau (OR); Prince William County Police Department (VA); Rankin County Sheriff’s Office (MS); Richton Pack Police Department (IL); Riverside Police Department (CA); Rosemont Police Department (IL); Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office (CA); Sacramento Police Department (CA); Salem Police Department (MA); San Diego Police Department (CA); San Francisco Police Department (CA); Sandy Springs Police Department (GA); Saugus Police Department (MA); Sauk Village Police Department (IL); Seattle Police Department (WA); Sexual Assault Resource Center (OR); Skokie Police Department (IL); Southfield Police Department (MI); St. Louis Park Police Department (MN); Swampscott Police Department (MA); Tacoma Police Department (WA); Tigard Police Department (OR); Toledo Police Department (OH); United States Attorney’s Office; Walpole Police Department (MA); Washington County Sheriff’s Office (OR); Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office (MI); Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (MI); Wellesley Police Department (MA); Westmont Police Department (IL); Will County Sheriff’s Police Department (IL); and Willowbrook Police Department (IL).

All of the charges announced today are merely accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

For more information on Operation Cross Country and the Innocence Lost National Initiative, visit www.fbi.gov.

Operation Cross Country II:  Story