- Jackson man to cast electoral vote for Trump; others trying to dissuade him (11/29/16)51
- Man killed by vehicle had been charged with domestic assault (11/30/16)
- Former Cape council member dies, remembered as 'wonderful public servant' (11/29/16)1
- Hotel chain president: City should regulate short-term lodging (11/27/16)16
- Woman accused in three robberies disguised herself as man (11/29/16)5
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)24
- Officers: Delta man dies during domestic dispute (11/28/16)1
- Business notebook: New store shows faith in Scott City district (11/28/16)
- Missouri chamber to honor Cape's John Mehner (11/30/16)6
- Men who pulled father, son from burning car near Naylor honored by highway patrol (12/1/16)
FBI: 47 children saved, 642 adults arrested in child prostitution sting
WASHINGTON -- More than 600 adults have been arrested and 47 children rescued in a three-day roundup targeting people who force children into prostitution.
The FBI said the roundup by federal, state and local law enforcement occurred in 29 cities, adding that the raids dismantled 12 large-scale prostitution operations run through call services, truck stops, casinos and websites.
At a news conference announcing the results of Operation Cross Country II, FBI deputy director John Pistole said the arrests were made possible by intelligence gathered during a similar series of raids in June.
"Sex trafficking of children remains one of our most violent and unconscionable crimes in this country," Pistole said.
The 47 rescued children ranged in age from 13 to 17, and all but one are female. Of these, Pistole said, 10 had been reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A total of 642 people were arrested. The FBI says they include 73 pimps and 518 adult prostitutes.
The operation was part of a larger, five-year initiative that has led to the recovery of 575 children and the dismantling of 36 criminal operations since June 2003.
Child prostitution has taken on a new urgency in recent years with the growth of online networks where pimps advertise the youngsters to clients. The FBI generally gets involved in child prostitution cases that cross state lines.
A University of Pennsylvania study estimated that nearly 300,000 children in the United States are at risk of being sexually exploited for commercial purposes.
"Make no mistake, the minors who were interdicted as a part of this operation are victims of the most extreme form of sex trafficking," said acting assistant attorney general Matthew Friedrich.
"It sadly remains the case even now in 2008 that there remain instances of children in the United States manipulated into prostitution by pimps willing to make a fast buck based on the most vulnerable among us," he said.