The FBI has arrested 150 pimps and freed 105 children in an operation against child prostitution in the US.
Most rescued were girls between the ages of 13 to 17. The youngest victim was a nine-year-old.
The sting across 76 cities freed the largest numbers in San Francisco, Detroit, Denver and New Orleans.
Speaking on Monday an FBI assistant director claimed it was the agency’s biggest anti-child trafficking operation.
“Sex trafficking among children remains one of the most prevalent, violent and unconscionable crimes in this country. Despite our many challenges, those who exploit children should know that we, this team, will continue to seek them out and bring them to justice,” warned Ronald T Hosko, assistant director of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division.
During Operation Cross Country VII, children were found at truck stops, motels, casinos and via social media and online advertisements over a three-day sweep.
The US Justice Department says that teens living on the street will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of running away from home.
Congress has introduced a bill to ensure that state law enforcement, foster care and child welfare programmes identify children lured into prostitution as sexual abuse victims in order to allow them access to the appropriate protection and services.
Raw video: Operation Cross Country (FBI)
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