“High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for sex trafficking criminal enterprises,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bertram Fairries. “By spreading the word early on that we would be cracking down on this type of criminal activity, we succeeded in stopping sex traffickers from operating as ‘business as usual’ and in some cases deterred traffickers from attempting to bring this crime into Bay Area communities at all.”
Human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money.
The minors recovered during Super Bowl 50 operations ranged in ages from 14 to 17 years old and included high school students and children who had been reported missing by their families.
Additionally, a developmentally delayed adult who was being trafficked was rescued and her pimp was arrested.
During operations, law enforcement arrested 85 prostitution clients, also known as “johns” or “tricks”. In addition, 129 adults, both male and female, were contacted or arrested for prostitution. All were offered services.
Over the course of the operation, the FBI’s victim specialists teamed up with local service providers to offer women and children services such as food, clothing, and referrals to health care facilities, shelters and other programs.
Today’s announcement comes after more than six months of localized FBI-led law enforcement preparation. Working with a variety of federal, state and local partners, the FBI has provided training on how to identify and address child exploitation.
“Through partnerships, enhanced as a result of this operation, we hope to build a lasting framework that helps the community address this problem,” said San Francisco FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson. “Though we think it’s important to focus on this issue in light of a high-profile event, the sad reality is, this is a problem we see every day in communities across the country. The FBI and its partners remain committed to the identification and rescue of minor victims, and to hold accountable those who exploit children for financial gain.”
The FBI’s Super Bowl operation efforts are part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to address the growing problem of child exploitation.
To date the program has resulted in the identification and recovery of approximately 4,800 sexually exploited children. And prosecutors have obtained more than 2,000 convictions of pimps and others associated with these trafficking crimes, including at least 15 cases that have resulted in life sentences.
The San Francisco FBI worked closely with law enforcement partners in executing these operations, and would like to thank the following federal, state, and local law enforcement partners who participated in these Super Bowl enforcement efforts:
- Alameda County DA’s Office
- Alameda County Probation
- Alameda County Sheriff’s Office
- Alameda PD
- Belmont PD
- Burlingame PD
- Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office
- Daly City PD
- U.S. Department of State
- Emeryville PD
- Foster City PD
- FBI-San Francisco- Oakland Resident Agency
- FBI-San Francisco
- FBI-San Francisco-San Jose Resident Agency
- FBI-Violent Crimes Against Children Unit
- FBI-Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)
- FBI-Houston FBI-Los Angeles
- FBI-Washington Field Office
- FBI Crisis Response K-9 Unit
- Hayward PD
- Homeland Security Investigations
- Marin County Sheriff’s Office
- Milpitas PD
- Morgan Hill PD
- Northern California Regional Intelligence Center
- Oakland PD
- Redwood City PD
- San Francisco PD
- San Jose PD
- San Jose ICAC
- San Leandro PD
- San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office
- San Mateo County Juvenile Probation
- San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office
- San Mateo PD
- San Rafael PD
- Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office
- Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office
- South San Francisco PD
- Sunnyvale DPS
- Sunnyvale PD
- Union City PD
Read the original story here.