FBI Sweep Nets 79 Child Prostitutes
Girls often recruited via social networks, say investigators
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2012 12:15 AM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2012 4:30 AM CDT
A prostitute is detained after a sweep by FBI agents.   (fbi)

(Newser) – A national sweep by FBI agents and local police has netted 79 child prostitutes, some as young as 11, and 104 pimps. Most of the underage girls will be turned over to social service agencies, and the pimps have been arrested and charged, said officials. The prostitution operations are generally linked to mobsters with heartless "business strategies" who recruit vulnerable girls through social media, an FBI spokesman tells CBS.

"A lot of these young people who are exploited were initially runaways. It's very insidious. People don't choose this," Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban told the San Jose Mercury News after busts in and around San Francisco. Other cities targeted in the three-day sweep included Toledo, Atlanta, Sacramento, and Shreveport in Louisiana.