The FBI announced today that it rescued 16 juveniles who had been forced into prostitution thanks to a two-week initiative leading up to Super Bowl XLVlll.
According to officials, the teens ranged from ages to 13 to 17 and were found in Connecticut and Pennsylvania in addition to New Jersey and New York. Authorities add that some of the teens had been reported missing by their families.
In addition, over 50 women forced into the sex trade were rescued, while over 45 pimps were arrested. The majority of the women and children rescued had been forced to travel to the area because of the Super Bowl.
"High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises," FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division assistant director Ron Hosko said in a press release.
Aaron Ford, the special agent in charge of FBI's Newark field office, promised that those responsible for forcing the victims into prostitution will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. "The FBI and its partners remain committed to the identification and rescue of minor victims, and to hold accountable those who exploit children for financial gain," he said.
Yesterday, the FBI said the operation involved over 50 law enforcement agencies and the New Jersey Attorney General's office organized a sex trafficking task force that partnered with law enforcement agencies like the FBI once it was announced that the Super Bowl would be held at MetLife Stadium.
[via New York Post]