The FBI has rescued 168 children and arrested 281 pimps in a week-long child-prostitution sting operation carried out across the U.S., in partnership with local law-enforcement agencies.

Operation Cross Country VIII took place in 106 cities across 54 FBI divisions.

The various cross-country operations have to date rescued around 3,600 children and led to 1,450 convictions, more than a dozen of which have come with life sentences in prison.

The results reveal that children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day. They are being targeted typically at casinos, truck stops and websites advertising escort and dating services, as identified by local law enforcement.

Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, said in a statement,

Child sex traffickers create a living nightmare for their adolescent victims. They use fear and force and treat children as commodities of sex to be sold again and again. This operation puts traffickers behind bars and rescues kids from their nightmare so they can start reclaiming their childhood.

One year ago, U. S. Attorney Brendan Johnson made a vow to combat sex trafficking in South Dakota. We have the complete story.