3 kids saved, 8 pimps ID'd in bay area as part of big sweep

Published July 30, 2013

TAMPA — Three Hillsborough County children are among the 105 rescued from prostitution in a nationwide sweep, the FBI announced Monday.

The three-day campaign, called "Operation Cross Country," was part of the FBI's ongoing Innocence Lost initiative.

The campaign also swept 150 pimps off the nation's streets, the FBI said.

In the Tampa Bay area, according to the agency:

• In addition to the three children in Hillsborough rescued, one adult in the county also was freed from prostitution.

• A total of 24 adults were arrested on prostitution charges, 18 of them in Hillsborough and six in Pinellas County.

• Seven pimps were identified in Hillsborough and one in Pinellas, but they have not yet been arrested.

Besides the FBI, local agencies involved in the operation were the sheriff's offices in Hillsborough and Pinellas, and police from Tampa, Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg.