Kids Not Reported Missing Rescued in FBI Bust
Operation Cross Country cracks down on child-sex trafficking
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2014 7:10 PM CDT
FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – The FBI arrested 281 pimps and rescued 168 child victims of sex trafficking in a nationwide sting last week—the agency's eighth annual crackdown on the child sex trade, CBS News reports. The operation across 106 cities aimed to rescue child sex workers from casinos, truck stops, street corners, and more than ever before from online trade, reports the AP. "These are not faraway kids in faraway lands," FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the operation's results. "These are America's children."

One impediment to the FBI's job: Many of those rescued hadn't been reported missing. "But for operations like this, these children likely would never have been found," said John Ryan, head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He said states need better laws to make child welfare services report missing children. For now, there's the FBI's annual sweep—called Operation Cross Country—which has thus far led to 14 life sentences, 1,450 convictions, and seized over $3.1 million in assets, USA Today reports. (See the results of last year's operation.)

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
jamescraig2000
Jun 24, 2014 9:06 AM CDT
Sad, not even schools reported them missing.
plain_speaking
Jun 24, 2014 8:05 AM CDT
I am by no means excusing the state agencies that didn't report these kids missing, we should expect more...but, if we want better results, then we need to fund children's services better.. child welfare workers are expected to do impossible amounts of work..if they have one child (out of their 30 something case load) that needs a bed, they can spend 4-5 days out of the 20 work days in a month servicing ONE child..driving that child all over the state interviewing for a placement. .What happen to the other 29 kids? Having been a foster parent, the workers I knew all were trying to do their best, but their case load was obscene. The behavior of these kids was more a feature of their past than influenced by their time in state custody. When you have a 12 year old that has already had multiple sexual partners...many in their 30's....well the child's behavior can't be blamed on the state.. Yes...more should be done...then we need to buck up and spend more...I personally know a state custody horror story..Do I blame the workers in the system...no, most are doing their best...Do I blame the system...not really, it is operating as well as it can given the resources....I blame the lack of funding...
Crazy Horse
Jun 24, 2014 7:03 AM CDT
The story mentions rescuing kids from casinos, truck stops, etc. My wife and I stopped in at one of the Illinois toll way Oasis stops a few summers ago for gas and snacks. In the parking lot were four girls not older than 14 or 15 years clearly working as prostitutes.