FBI Rescues 79 American Child Sex Slaves

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 23:20 PM EDT, 25 June 2012

FBI Badge & Gun (Cropped), Source (Wikipedia)The FBI announced the results of a three-day operation during which 79 minors were rescued and 104 pimps were arrested. Today’s announcement demonstrated that the problem of large-scale trafficking of children into sexual slavery is not limited to foreign countries.

This latest coordinated effort marked the sixth deployment of “Operation Cross Country,” implemented to free children who became ensnared in the nightmare of prostitution through online media venues such as social media websites, chat rooms and text messaging.

Despite aggressive television, billboard, and internet campaigns warning parents and caregivers of the insidious tactics employed by increasingly sophisticated predators, young people continue to post personal information on the web at an alarming rate.

According to the website Internet Safety 101.org:

  • 29% of Internet sex crime relationships were initiated on a social networking site. (Journal of Adolescent Health 27, 2010)
  • In 26% of online sex crimes against minors, offenders disseminated information and/or pictures of the victim through the victim’s personal social networking site. (Journal of Adolescent Health 47, 2010)
  • 33% of all Internet-initiated sex crimes involved social networking sites. (Journal of Adolescent Health 47, 2010)
  • 72% of teens have a social networking profile and nearly half (47%) have a public profile viewable by anyone.
  • Frequently children in 4th-6th grade levels engage in social networking activities. In the process they post personal, potentially exploitable, information about themselves online. Specifically, and within the last school year: 16% posted personal interests online, 15% posted information about their physical activities and 20% gave out their real name. In addition, 5% posted information about their school, 6% posted their home address, 6% posted their phone number and 9% posted pictures of themselves.
  • Teens often include the following information on their social networking profile.
  • Real age (50%)
  • Photos of themselves (62%)
  • City they live in (41%)
  • School name/location (45%)
  • Videos of friends (16%)
  • Videos of themselves (14%)
  • Their cell phone number (14%)
  • Places where they typically go (9%) (Source: Internet Safety 101.org)

The majority of the children rescued were girls between the ages of 11 and 13, but there were some boys. Most of the children were enticed by the promise of greater liberation from parental authority, while others were tempted by things as inconsequential as cell phones or other minor gifts.

As with most human trafficking cases, once captured the victims remain enslaved through psychological abuse and torture. Many are told that either they or their loved one will be killed if they try to escape or contact the authorities. The children freed during this operation are at the beginning of their journey to freedom.

Though these children have been physically freed, they have a long road ahead of them to achieve physical and psychological healing. Previous reports state that victims liberated during previous phases of “Operation Cross Country” have had severe difficulties adjusting and in some cases their behaviors were so anti-social that battered and abused and runaway shelters refuse to admit them.

These raids are a promising start and hopefully the American public will continue to increase its national and international awareness, advocacy and support of the hundreds of thousands of children who fall victim to perfidious sex traffickers every day.

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

8 Comments on “FBI Rescues 79 American Child Sex Slaves”

  1. cliffharrison Says:

    Las Vegas is a hub for human traffickers and sex crimes. Even “ordinary” people often boast “In Vegas, you can get whatever you want.” There are people that will supply you.

    But don’t ever think government does not secretly endorse this illegal sex trade. The increase of the room taxes lets the city, county and state profit from the one-hour room rentals prostitutes and their customers use, along with the long term ones rented under one month in length. On every block in Vegas is a legal massage parlor filled with illegal prostitution of girls and women who are the sex slaves of global human traffickers. When I came to Vegas decades ago, half of the large metropolitan phone book was filled with ads placed by escort services, massage parlors and the sex trade.

    It’s a common occurrence for girls age 13 or under to be found involved in these rings. Few pimps ever do serious jail time because they hire the best lawyers who defend them with the girl’s money. Few businesses are closed for more than twenty four hours, including the massage parlors and escort services, virtually zero motels catering to the “one-hour” crowd. It’s big money for the corrupt instruments of government. There is little empathy by the people until their own daughters come up missing and or found in one of the dumpsters that sit around Vegas.

    The biggest pimp in any American city is the government of those cities. Street girls are placed in jail, the jail earns $250 or so a day for their keep from the state and federal government then after a few days the girls are placed in front of a judge and fined, agreeing to pay off the fine, the girl is released so she can go back on the street and earn the money to pay off her fine. Meanwhile the pimp is sitting in a cool casino gambling away her earnings or at a bus station, shelter or some other hang out looking for more girls.

    LT. Hunt, a female squad commander here in town, took down a lot of those pimps, there wasn’t a lawyer who wouldn’t take dirty money. Read any article about prostitution in the Las Vegas Sun or Las Vegas Review Journal you will see the tone of those who leave comments have little if any sympathy for the girls, and think prostitution ought to be legal.

    $200,000 a year firemen have been trapped in a police sting searching for internet, child predators. It’s common to see cops arrested for patronizing prostitutes, committing crimes against women and children. Not a month goes by without a Clark County teacher being arrested for child sex crimes, not a day or week goes by that some teacher in the United States isn’t arrested. In some cases such as California, the unions protect such teachers from being fired at the outrage of parents.

    Former Mayor Oscar Goodman, whose wife is current mayor, has pushed for legalized prostitution for years.

    There is only one of two ways to stop prostitution, both are radical. One is to have lone wolves on roof tops with sniper rifles to take out the pimps, and the other is a revolution. Neither will ever happen. So we are unfortunately left with a barbaric society that is both radical and uncaring about the pain suffered by girls and women in white slavery and human trafficking. The best way to stop the runaways and missing children is having love and understanding at home. Globally we’re not taking about “Tens of thousands”, we’re taking about ten’s of millions of innocent girls and women and even males forced into slave labor and sex crimes.

    People aren’t turning against these acts, they are turning in favor of them. The sheer number of customers feeding the demand that consumes the supply is the clue. The new meaning of freedom is the slavery of others, or so it seems.

    Keep pounding away at the issue, with your fine reporting. Although it is indeed a gloomy situation to witness or discuss, perhaps the parents of troubled teenagers will take a more aggressive and serious approach in solving their problems at home knowing the absolute consequences, One child kept at home will be one child the predators will never get to prey on. Thanks for your empathy.


  2. Donkey Whisperer Farm Says:

    This is so sad and sickening. Outstanding job on your post today.


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