Photo Courtesy: FBI

Photo Courtesy: FBI

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Press Release)– Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson of the FBI Kansas City Division announced yesterday, October 17, 2016, the results of Operation Cross Country X, an international effort focusing on underage sex trafficking which ran from October 13 – 16, 2016.

Over the course of these three days, the FBI Kansas City Division, along with its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners conducted Operation Cross Country X in eight cities throughout areas in Kansas and Missouri. Those cities included Kansas City, North Kansas City, and Independence, MO and Overland Park, Wichita, Topeka, Junction City, and Kansas City, KS. The results of this combined law enforcement effort led to the recovery of five children who were being victimized through prostitution ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old. Additionally, four female adult human trafficking victims were identified and recovered. The operation also included the arrests of 12 pimps and 14 Johns on state and federal charges.

Press Conference

This is the tenth iteration of FBI-led initiative which took place across the United States and, for the first time, also took place in several countries around the world. Law enforcement partners from Cambodia, Canada, The Philippines, and Thailand had operations in their respective countries. Those results were announced earlier today by FBI Director James Comey and the National Center for Missing and exploited Children (NCMEC) at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention in San Diego, CA.

Operations took place in a number of locations, including hotels, truck stops, and street corners. Minors recovered during an arrest are engaged with state protective services, and victim assistance. Depending on the level of need, a law enforcement officer and, if available, an FBI Victim Specialist will accompany the survivor to obtain these services. Any adult arrested pursuant to state charges will be processed by state and local law enforcement partners assisting in Operation Cross Country.

SAC Eric Jackson stated, “The exploitation of a child being sold for sex is an abhorrent crime preying on the innocent and vulnerable. The FBI is committed to aggressively investigating this threat to children across the nation and the globe. We will work vigorously with our law enforcement partners to protect and rescue these victims.”

Operation Cross Country X is the largest ever in the history of the initiative, with 55 FBI field offices and 74 Child Exploitation Task Forces representing more than 400 law enforcement organizations taking part in the operation. In addition, several dozen operations across Canada, and approximately 10 operations took place in six cities across Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines. Domestically, 82 minors were rescued and 239 traffickers and their associates were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country X. In Canada, as part of a corresponding effort called Northern Spotlight, authorities recovered 16 children, while in Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines, authorities recovered 25 children, including a two-year-old girl.

Operation Cross Country X is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost Initiative, which began in 2003. These teams work all year to recover minor trafficking victims. Since the inception of the program, there have been more than 6100 child identifications and locations.

For additional information on Operation Cross Country X and the Innocence Lost initiative, please visit www.fbi.gov.

The FBI Kansas City Division thanks its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners for participating in Operation Cross Country X and their ongoing enforcement efforts.

The following agencies partnered with the FBI Kansas City during Operation Cross Country X:

  • Kansas City, MO Police Department

  • Kansas City, KS Police Department

  • Wyandotte County, Kansas Sheriff’s Department

  • Overland Park, Kansas Police Department

  • Independence, Missouri Police Department

  • Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations

  • North Kansas City, Missouri Police Department

  • Junction City, Kansas Police Department

  • Geary County, Kansas Sheriff’s Department

  • Topeka, Kansas Police Department

  • Riley County, Kansas Police Department

  • Wichita, Kansas Police Department

  • Wichita Exploited and Missing Child Unit – EMCU

  • Wichita, Kansas Police Department

  • Sedgwick County, Sheriff’s Department

     

Anyone with information regarding such activities involving child exploitation is urged to contact their local FBI field office or police department.