FBI Busts U.S. Child Prostitution Ring

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently rescued 52 children from prostitution in a series of raids around the U.S.
    
Authorities, who announced the busts Monday, said the youngest victim was 11.  

The raids took place over three days in 36 cities-- part of a long-running operation known as "Operation Cross Country," which has the goal of shutting down child prostitution rings around the country.
    
Nearly 1,600 agents and officers took part in the raids, which led to federal and state charges against a total of  691 suspects.

CBN News spoke with Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America about child prostitution in the U.S. Click play for her comments.

"The up-to-date current ongoing fluid exchange of intelligence is critical because we know that the pimps take the young girls from city to city," said FBI Agent John Gillies.

Gillies said pimps are putting several ads on social networking sites including Facebook and MySpace to attract the girls.
    
Police posed as customers and searched the Internet for young looking escorts to proposition.

"The internet's being used widely now for juvenile prostitution," an undercover agent said. "The girls of the pimps, the handlers, have now taken it off the street where it can be seen and have now concealed it on the internet."

Gillies said drugs are a major part of the ring.

"They try to get these girls addicted to drugs...to a position where they are dependent on the predators," he said.

The girls they prey on are often outcasts just seeking attention.

"They're looking for runaways," said FBI Agent Dave Couvertier. "Kids that have emotional problems, no-one's paying attention to them. And what they do is exploit those issues and then entice them into the world of prostitution."

The investigations typically target places where minors are likely to be sold into prostitution, including truck stops, casinos, public streets, internet web sites and motels.

Child prostitution is a problem the FBI says is getting worse.
   
"The money involved in prostituting children is much higher than just regular prostitution," Gillies added. "So, they get them. The desire by the 'Johns' if you will, is for younger and younger girls."

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