Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 2014

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51 arrested in Las Vegas area as part of effort to curb child prostitution

A three-day nationwide crackdown on the sexual exploitation of children meant to highlight the problem led to the arrest of 51 adults in the Las Vegas area, FBI officials said.

Those 51 adults were arrested on local and state prostitution charges. Local officials also rescued one juvenile from prostitution involvement, arrested five people for attempting to solicit prostitution and arrested five more people involved in prostitution for other charges, said FBI Las Vegas special agent Joseph Dickey.

The arrests were part of Operation Cross Country V, a 72-hour national enforcement action with the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which included actions in 40 cities in 34 FBI divisions across the country, officials said.

The weekend operation led to the nationwide recovery of 69 child victims of prostitution and the arrest of 884 people, including 99 pimps, FBI officials said.

Operation Cross Country V was meant to draw awareness to the sexual exploitation of children by providing a three-day snapshot of the problem, Dickey said.

"This isn't anything we don't do on a daily basis," he said.

The FBI launched the Innocence Lost National Initiative in 2003, which includes 39 task forces across the country, to highlight the growing problem of child sex trafficking in the United States.

The Innocence Lost Task Force in Las Vegas works with the Metro Police Vice section to combat child prostitution, Dickey said. The FBI primarily supplies training and equipment for the officers, he said.

Since 2003, more than 1,000 children involved in prostitution have been rescued in the Las Vegas area, most of whom were between the ages of 14 to 17, Dickey said. Some children as young as 12 years old have been rescued, he said.

Las Vegas authorities rescued 155 children in 2009 and 99 children so far this year, Dickey said.

Those numbers, he said, aren't any better or worse than other similar-sized cities in the United States.

"In any populated area, unfortunately, you're going to have children involved in the prostitution business," Dickey said.

FBI officials said task force operations typically begin locally, targeting places such as truck stops, casinos, street "tracks" and websites based on intelligence gathered by investigators in each jurisdiction. Most people are initially arrested for state and local prostitution charges, and information from those arrests often leads to uncovering organized efforts to prostitute women and children in many states, officials said.

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  1. culturechange -- good call. I also noticed despite the headline the article gave no ages on the 69 "victims" they "rescued." Considering the age of consensual sex in Nevada is 16, I'm suspicious this is just another fluff piece to justify police budgets -- just more herdspeak.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  2. I don't care what adults do voluntarily. Not my business. However, anyone who would kidnap, torture or force a child or grown woman into prostitution is a vile scumbag who deserves no consideration. They should be locked up and the key thrown away. I wonder how culturechange would feel if he was one of the 69 forced to perform sex acts? One would then become one too many.

  3. dtj: you got it right. This isn't really about prostitution. It's about violence against women. It's about kidnapping and rape and involuntary servitude. It goes against every principle this country stands for and must be stopped.

  4. I also found that the article seemed to pull you in in a fallacious way sorta like a National Enquire headline, However the most disturbing of all is the fact that adults have a insatiable desire to engage in sexual acts with kids (less than 16 years of age) Regardless of it being willful or unwillingly.
    This goes to prove that legalizing prostitution will not change this because these adults want what is deemed taboo or illegal that is what they desire the most.

  5. "...anyone who would kidnap, torture or force a child or grown woman into prostitution is a vile scumbag who deserves no consideration." ..... "It's about kidnapping and rape and involuntary servitude."

    lvfacts101 -- I see you're another one of those who make it up as you go along. Nothing in this article even remotely mentions anything you mentioned. Until you get a grip on the facts you're irrelevant to this Discussion.

    casinokid -- pay attention! Federal law pretty much defines anyone under 18 as a child (not counting the military). As you mentioned Nevada's age of consent is 16, yet under the common law girls could marry at 12. Some states still allow marriage at age 14 with parental consent.

    "The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people." - Noam Chomsky

  6. "Wow - people defending this." &c.

    Jenlv -- you're one of the reasons I seldom venture out of the trusted comments. A quick review of the posts doesn't show anybody "defending this." And like lvfacts101, what the article doesn't provide, you just make it up.

    Do try to think outside the herd next time.

    "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime." -- Lavrentiy Beria, chief of the Soviet security and secret police under Stalin