EDISON - An undercover sting by the FBI and New Jersey State Police surrounding the Super Bowl resulted in the arrest of dozens of pimps and their associates.
Authorities say they rescued 16 children who were allegedly being sold for sex. The two-week sting was tied to increased demand surrounding the game.
The FBI says some of the pimps told investigators they came to New Jersey specifically because of Super Bowl XLVIII, hoping to cash in on the influx of sports fans
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Investigators say they allegedly charged several hundred dollars to have sex with girls as young as 13.
The FBI says many looking for sex were able to find it online, at websites like Craig's List and BackPage.
According to an FBI spokeswoman, undercover agents responded to ads that used tell-tale words that hinted at sex with minors.
During a 14-day period that included Super Bowl Sunday, investigators posing as johns busted 45 pimps and their associates in the Tri-State area.
They also say 16 girls, ages 13 to 17, were recovered. Six of those girls were in New Jersey at hotels in Atlantic City.
For weeks leading up to the big game at MetLife Stadium, anti-human trafficking advocates waged a public awareness campaign, training hotel workers on what to look for.
In addition to the six girls recovered in Atlantic City, investigators found six girls in New York and another four in Connecticut.
The FBI says the girls and their families are now receiving help from victim specialists.
The alleged pimps have not yet been charged.