FBI, Mississippi Law Enforcement Partners Locate Two Children, Arrest 22 as Part of National Crackdown on Child Sex Trafficking
The FBI and several Mississippi law enforcement agencies joined forces last week, conducting several operations targeting child sex trafficking in the state. The initiative helped locate two juveniles in central Mississippi and resulted in the arrest of 24 other adults.
Warren and Madison County sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Ridgeland, Madison, Jackson, and Clinton Police Departments worked with special agents from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to charge those arrested in state court. The operation sought to expose pimps who posted photographs of women soliciting sex at local motels via Internet advertisements.
“There is no higher calling than protecting our children,” said Donald Alway, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “The close partnerships we pursue among our law enforcement colleagues statewide help to keep Mississippi safer for both children and adults.”
The charges ranged from prostitution and possession of a firearm and narcotics to child endangerment. In one operation, Jackson Police and the FBI Task Force detained a man and woman who brought their 3-year-old child with them on his birthday. Jackson Police detectives charged them with prostitution, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm, and child endangerment. The child was removed to protective custody by the state.
Now in its ninth iteration, Operation Cross Country is part of the FBI’s larger, nationwide Innocence Lost National Initiative. Since its inception in 2003, FBI agents and task force officers have located more than 4800 children on U.S. streets. Working with the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, agents and prosecutors obtained more than 2000 convictions, including at least 15 resulting in life sentences for the pimps who exploited them.
The FBI Jackson’s Child Exploitation and Safe Streets Task Forces are composed of state and local law enforcement agencies from across Mississippi.
For additional information on Operation Cross Country IX and the Innocence Lost initiative, please visit www.fbi.gov.