The harrowing details of a Denver, Colorado sex trafficking ring are causing waves nationwide, as it’s being reported that among those found included a 3-month-old infant and a five-year-old child.
The FBI shut down a nationwide sex trafficking ring based in Denver, Colorado earlier this week that not only included a 3-month-old baby and a five-year-old, but also a record 84 other minors. CBS Denver reports that the FBI’s investigation, dubbed “Operation Cross Country,” includes Denver along with several other U.S. cities in a sex trafficking ring that utilized online ads to attract customers.
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Via CBS Denver:
Arapahoe Investigator Daniel Steel was among those involved in the operation locally. “We go out in an undercover capacity, and we try to make contact with youth whether as a customer sex buyer or trafficker even,” Steele said.
Just three days ago, a suspect offered an undercover officer $600 in exchange for access to two children for sex. That male suspect was arrested and the children rescued. In video released by the FBI, a child’s blanket and stuffed animal can be seen on the floor of the location of one of the busts.
The investigation included online ads that undercover officers would respond to. The locations typically included hotels, casinos and street corners. A female from Russia was among those victims the FBI agents encountered in Denver. FBI Director Christopher Wray says that the agency is not only trying to take traffickers off the streets, but to help the victims get out of the cycle of abuse. “If you want to stop all this, stop what you’re doing, stop this work, you can call that and they can do that for you. They can help you stay in the United States or go back home to family,” said one FBI agent.
Local investigators also arrested 120 traffickers, four pimps and 18 predators who attempted to pay for sex with the children. To assert how serious sex trafficking is being taken across the country, Assistant Special Agent in charge of the local Denver FBI, Todd Pooler, said that this is only the beginning and “If you are a sexual predator or are sexually exploiting children, the FBI and law enforcement partners will find you, you can count on it.”
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