Federal officials are teaming up with state and local law enforcement to battle human sex trafficking. Over the weekend, the FBI conducted their annual sting operation. It's called Operation Cross Country.
During a three-day law enforcement sweep targeting the problem of teenage prostitution, officers rescued 79 children and arrested 104 alleged pimps. The operation took place Friday through Sunday. It included more than 2,500 state, local and federal officers working in 57 cities.
The FBI says even though 79 children were rescued, officials said there's no guarantee those minors won't be lured back into prostitution.
Operation Cross Country is part of the FBI's Innocence Lost National Initiative which was started in 2003. With 47 task forces and working groups, the FBI says more than 2,200 children have been pulled off the streets along with more than 1,000 convictions of people exploiting kids. According to the FBI, many of the convictions have resulted in long prison sentences, including eight life terms.
Despite those figures, the FBI and child advocates said child prostitution continues to be a serious problem and they called on the public to realize it can happen in any town and neighborhood.
Officials say the best estimate is that at least 100,000 American kids get lured into prostitution every year.
Accoring to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center of the 5,102 reports them've recieve on human trafficking, 41 of those are in Kansas. Click here to see the entire report.