The Federal Bureau of Investigation and several Mississippi law enforcement agencies joined forces within the past week to take down several operations targeting child sex trafficking in the state.
The cooperative effort located two juveniles in central Mississippi and resulted in the arrest of 22 adults.
Warren and Madison County sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Ridgeland, Madison, Jackson, and Clinton Police Departments worked with special agents from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to charge those arrested.
The operation exposed pimps who posted photographs of women soliciting sex at local motels via online advertisements.
“There is no higher calling than protection our children,” said Donald Alway, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “The close partnerships we pursue among our law enforcement colleagues statewide help to keep Mississippi safer for both children and adults.”
Charges ranged from prostitution, possession of a firearm, narcotics, and child endangerment. Jackson Police and the FBI Task Force detained a man and woman who brought their 3-year-old child with them on his birthday in one operation. Jackson Police detectives charged them with prostitution, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm, and child endangerment.
The children have since been removed and is protective custody of the state.
Operation Cross Country, is now in its ninth iteration. It is a part of the FBI’s nationwide Innocence Lost National Initiative. The program began in 2003. The initiative has located more than 4,800 children, obtained 2, 000 convictions, and at least 15 life sentences.