Teresa L. Carlson, Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in conjunction with the Milwaukee Police Department, West Allis Police Department, Oak Creek Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announce the results of local investigative efforts related to Operation Cross Country, a nationwide initiative targeting those responsible for sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking.
The multi-jurisdictional effort on June 21-22, 2012 marked the first time Milwaukee area law enforcement has participated in this multi-day law enforcement action, which involved hundreds of FBI special agents partnered with thousands of local police officers and other law enforcement personnel throughout the United States. Nationally, Operation Cross Country led to the recovery of 80 children and the arrest of 104 pimps by local and state law enforcement on a variety of prostitution related charges. Over the course of the two-day local effort, Milwaukee area law enforcement agencies recovered the highest number of juveniles in the nation, with a total of seven identified during the operation. Additionally, 53 adult prostitutes and three pimps were also taken into custody, bringing the total arrests to 63 in the Milwaukee area.
“Operation Cross Country underscores the importance of collaboration of local, state and federal partnerships here in Wisconsin and throughout the United States,” said Teresa L. Carlson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Milwaukee Division. “Protecting the children of our communities and combating human trafficking by bringing to justice the criminals who exploit these victims is an extremely important mission. We salute the hard work and dedication of the Milwaukee Human Trafficking Task Force and the great many police officers and special agents who are dedicated to this effort every day.”
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was created in 2003 by the FBI in partnership with the Department of Justice and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Operation Cross Country was specifically designed to address the growing problem of domestic child sex trafficking in the United States.
To learn more about Operation Cross Country and the Innocence Lost National Initiative, visit www.fbi.gov, www.justice.gov or www.ncmec.org.