WASHINGTON — Nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking — including six from the Tampa Bay area — were rescued in the last week as part of an annual nationwide crackdown, the FBI said Monday.
Besides the 168 children rescued from the sex trade, 281 accused pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.
"These are not faraway kids in faraway lands," FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he said, "These are America's children."
Besides the six children rescued in the bay area, the FBI said it had rescued one in the Orlando area and one in the Fort Myers area within the 18-county regional covered by the local FBI division. Three accused pimps in the region also were arrested.
This is the eighth such operation, which this year was in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have been recovered.