The FBI rounded up 48 suspected teen prostitutes and arrested 571 others on a range of prostitution charges this weekend, the AP reports. The nationwide offensive, Operation Cross Country, rescued girls as young as 13 years old. "The goal is to recover kids," one FBI official said. "We consider them the child victims of prostitution."
The operation, rolled out from Miami to Chicago to Anchorage, is further proof that the FBI is breaking tradition and going after prostitution. The agency also plans to hit pimps with longer sentences than state courts normally hand out. Now the feds are seeking a 16-year-old prostitute they believe is recruiting other teens. She is "at the top of our list," one agent said.