Jun 23 2014
WASHINGTON – Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the FBI and other Justice Department programs, today thanked Director James B. Comey and the hundreds of FBI special agents who partnered with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States this past week, in arresting those responsible for exploiting underage children through prostitution. The eighth iteration of Operation Cross Country, a week-long law enforcement effort across 106 cities, led to the recovery of 168 children. Additionally, 281 men and women who facilitated the exploitation of these children were arrested by law enforcement officials on a variety of prostitution related charges.
“I'm so proud of the men and women of the FBI who worked alongside state and local police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to rescue more than 160 children and arrest 281 pimps who were exploiting them. I commend all the agents who broke up these despicable child prostitution rings,” Chairwoman Mikulski said. “This major operation is an example of the good that can be accomplished when the federal government works with state and locals to keep our children safe.”
“I am pleased that 168 children, including one in Alabama, have been rescued as a direct result of Operation Cross Country,” Vice Chairman Shelby said. “We must protect our children from predators. I applaud the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement to bring these innocent children home and remove dangerous child predators from our streets.”
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was created in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), to address the growing problem of domestic child sex trafficking in the United States. To date, the Innocence Lost Task Forces and FBI partners have recovered nearly 3,600 children.
Chairwoman Mikulski and Vice Chairman Shelby thank the many local, state and federal law enforcement officers and agents representing 392 separate agencies who participated in Operation Cross Country and their ongoing enforcement efforts.
To learn more about Operation Cross Country and the Innocence Lost National Initiative, visit