Casinos, truck stops and online escort services were all main targets for authorities who rescued nearly 170 children nationwide during a crackdown on commercial sex trafficking, with more than two dozen of the rescues taking place in California, the
State, local and federal officials recovered children in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento during the weeklong "Operation Cross Country," officials said.
Authorities also arrested at least 38 alleged pimps in California during the crackdown, according to an FBI statement.
"These are not faraway kids in faraway lands," FBI Director James Comey said at a news conference Monday announcing the results. "These are our children, on our streets, our truck stops, our motels -- these are America's children."
Nationwide, law enforcement officials in 106 cities recovered 168 children who had been forced into prostitution.
Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the Justice Department, said in a statement that child sex traffickers "use fear and force and treat children as commodities of sex."
"Child sex traffickers create a living nightmare for their adolescent victims," Caldwell said.