DENVER — Some 18 juveniles believed to be victims of commercial child sex trafficking have been recovered in Denver as part of a nationwide crackdown, the FBI announced Monday.
Over the past week, a total of 168 children were recovered and 281 pimps arrested, 11 of them in Denver, the FBI said in a statement.
The 18 minors found in the Denver area marked the highest number in any metro area targeted by the operation. The 11 pimps arrested in the Denver are marked the second-highest number in any metro area.
Task force operations to find the juveniles usually begin as a local case targeting truck stops, casinos and websites, according to the news release. Federal prosecutors then join the case so federal charges can be brought.
“Child sex traffickers create a living nightmare for their adolescent victims,” said Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. “They use fear and force and treat children as commodities of sex to be sold again and again. This operation puts traffickers behind bars and rescues kids from their nightmare so they can start reclaiming their childhood.”