NEWARK - A nationwide FBI investigation named Operation Cross Country is targeting human trafficking and sex workers.
The raids rounded up hundreds of pimps and prostitutes throughout the United States. During the raid, 150 sex workers were found to be juveniles. The youngest was just 12 years old.
Six of these young sex workers were found in Newark. In general, law enforcement officials treat these juvenile workers as victims and provide them help instead of arresting them.
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"What we try to do with them is get them services to help them get out of the trade," says Newark FBI Agent Bradley Cohen. "We will get them with Child Protective Services and Social Services."
The FBI and local law enforcement teams also work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to get the underage sex workers out of danger.
The raids took place in 135 communities nationwide. In New Jersey, they were carried out in Newark and Atlantic City, as well as several other towns.