FBI saves 2 Maryland girls from forced prostitution; arrests 5 pimps

Operation Cross Country nets hundreds of arrests

FBI agents based in Baltimore have rescued two more children from sex traffickers over a three-day operation, according to a release from the department.

The two girls were rescued from forced prostitution in Baltimore County and Montgomery County, respectively, as part of Operation Cross Country VIII. The operation is a coordinated, national effort from authorities to conduct targeted sweeps of sex trafficking "hotspots."

Officers also arrested five pimps in Maryland. Specialists offered assistance to 33 adult prostitutes, although only three accepted, according to a release from the FBI.

Since 2013, 49 teenage girls have been rescued in Maryland through the operation, according to the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force. The age range of the girls spans from 13 to 17 years old.

The most recent sweep netted 281 arrests of pimps across 106 cities over three days, according to the release. Over the same three days, 168 children were saved.

From the release:

Agents and investigators targeted truck stops, street ‘tracks’, casinos, social media and websites that advertise dating or escort services. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation.  Information gleaned from those arrested frequently uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states.  FBI agents further developed this evidence in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section so that prosecutors can help bring federal charges in those cities where child prostitution occurs. 

The Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force is composed of federal and state officials, as well as officers from Anne Arundel County, Annapolis, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

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