Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - The FBI announced Monday the arrests of 150 people and recovery of 105 children involved child prostitution rings in 76 cities across the country.
The sweep, conducted in the past three days, was carried out in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. It represents the largest such law enforcement action focused on children forced into prostitution.
Assistant FBI Director Ron Hosko, head of the bureau's criminal division, said the children ranged from 13 to 17 years old. The youngest of the victims was allegedly being pimped by her father, who also was allegedly involved in videotaping his daughter's sexual encounters.
In operations involving 230 separate law enforcement agencies, authorities either made arrests or child recoveries from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
The largest number of children(12) were recovered in San Francisco.
And the most alleged pimps (18) were arrested in Detroit.
"Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America," Hosko said. "This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable."
In a statement released to the media Monday, the FBI identified the number of juveniles rescued and pimps arrested in each of its divisions. According to the release, two juveniles were rescued in the St. Louis area.
On Friday night, FBI agents raided Missy Kitty's in Washington Park and two other strip clubs in the area. NewsChannel 5 confirmed these raids were tied to the nationwide crackdown.