MADISON (WKOW) -- A three-day, nationwide operation led to about 100 arrests here in Wisconsin and saved 10 young victims of child sex trafficking.
MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice, FBI and local law enforcement departments have rescued 10 children and arrested 100 suspects in a large-scale child sex trafficking operation.
Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen's office announced Monday the DOJ's Division of Criminal Investigation participated in a nationwide, 3-day effort called "Operation Cross Country VII" in Milwaukee, Madison, Wisconsin Dells and the Fox Valley.
Wisconsin is third highest in the nation for number of children rescued. During last year's operation, six children were rescued and nearly 60 people were arrested in the state.
"I'm extremely thankful to the FBI for its leadership and all of our outstanding local law enforcement partners because without their commitment and cooperation, we wouldn't be able to hold suspected traffickers accountable and rescue their victims," A.G. Van Hollen said in a written statement.
15 DCI special agents participated, along with officers with Madison, Baraboo and Lake Delton police; Sauk and Dane County Sheriff's Offices, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Attorney's Offices in Wisconsin, and Project Respect.
The FBI Milwaukee Division's special agent in charge Patricia Ferrick says many of the children and young adults had been forced into prostitution. The victims and the pimps travel through the state to work and do not necessarily reside where they were located. 10 were recovered in Milwaukee.
Undercover agents and detectives made contact with young women involved in prostitution by canvassing areas where prostitution is known to occur. All the women and girls were offered access to services for victims in the community.
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