The Cleveland Division of the FBI worked with federal, state and local law enforcement, including the Elyria Police Department, to conduct Operation Cross Country VIII on June 15 to 20.
During this operation, law enforcement arrested 12 pimps on state and federal charges, and recovered 16 children who were being victimized through prostitution.
“The success of this operation in Northern Ohio areas is unprecedented,” said Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI. “Selling children for sex is a heinous crime and will not be tolerated. Protecting children is one of the FBI’s highest priorities and working together at all levels of law enforcement, such as we did in Operation Cross Country, makes it possible to identify, rescue and provide services for those children who become victims of crime.”
During last week’s operation, law enforcement recovered four children in Toledo, one in Elyria and 11 in Cleveland. All of these children were sold as prostitutes, according to the FBI.
The Cleveland office ranked second in the nation with the number of children recovered in this operation. The Denver office of the FBI recovered 18 children.