FBI operation leads to arrest of 10 sex traffickers, rescue of three teenagers in metro

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that the youngest child rescued during a massive crackdown on sex trafficking was a 3-month-old baby. FBI agents worked with officers in the metro and across Kansas and Missouri in the "Operation Cross Country," arresting 10 suspected local traffickers, and freeing three teenagers.

The four-day operation led to the recovery of more than 80 victims nationwide. More than 120 suspected sex traffickers were locked up during Operation Cross Country.

This is the 11th operation the FBI has led, and this year it was conducted in 10 cities in Kansas and Missouri, including Independence, Lee's Summit, Riverside, Olathe and Overland Park.

The FBI says the victims ages ranged from 3 months old to 17 years old and is a crime that can happen anywhere. ‚Äč

"Many people don't realize that sex trafficking and the trafficking of children can happen in their own backyard. This isn't something that is localized in large cities or large commercial areas. This is a crime that can happen anywhere in the United States. There's no prejudice when it comes to child sex trafficking," said Bridge Patton, Public Affairs Specialist/Media Representative for the FBI's Kansas City office.

Since 2003 - the FBI has recovered more than 6,000 victims of child sex trafficking.