FBI arrests more than 150 in US sex-trafficking sting


The FBI says it is keeping a closer watch on sovereign citizen extremists. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN



The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Monday that it had rescued more than 100 teenagers and arrested more than 150 people in a sex-trafficking sting over a three-day weekend.

The operation occured in 76 American cities from San Francisco to Miami.

Law enforcement said it is the largest operation against child sex-trafficking in the United States to date.

Of the 105 children rescued, authorities said the youngest was just 13 years old.

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Traffickers target children, mostly girls, who are either homeless or in foster care with "low self esteem and minimal social support," the Justice Departmen's Drew Oosterban said.

"With no way to survive on their own, they are lured into a life of being trafficked for sex," John Ryan, the head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told ABC News. "When these children are recovered ... typically their only possessions are the clothes that they are wearing."

The operation took law enforcement officials to motels, casinos, and truck stops. Those arrested face human trafficking and sex crimes charges.