Updated: 07/29/2013 6:56 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
Photo: MGN Online
The FBI says it has rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution in the United States and arrested 150 people it described as pimps and others in a series of raids in 76 American cities.
The campaign, known as "Operation Cross Country," was the largest of its type and conducted under the FBI's "Innocence Lost" initiative.
The assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, Ron Hosko, said that child prostitution remains what he called a "persistent threat" to children across America.
In Minnesota, the raids happened Thursday through Saturday, according to FBI Public Information Officer Kyle Loven.
Four pimps were arrested in Minnesota – two by St. Paul Police, one by Minneapolis Police, and one by the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
No victims were recovered in Minnesota. Early reports indicate that a 20-month-old child was recovered, but Loven said the baby was not a victim.
Both state and local charges are being filed against the pimps. So far there are no federal charges, but Loven said that could change.
The Innocence Lost National Initiative was created in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. Since it was established, the FBI and various law enforcement partners have recovered more than 2,700 children from the streets, and 1,350 convictions have been recorded, according to the FBI.
The following map denotes FBI divisions, not necessarily actual cities, where juveniles were recovered and pimps were arrested:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.