The FBI says 11 people were arrested in North Carolina as part of a nationwide crackdown on child sex trafficking this past weekend. In total, 120 people were arrested across the country, and 84 underage victims were discovered, including three in North Carolina.
The operation, dubbed "Operation Cross Country," spanned multiple states and relied on support from 78 state and local task forces consisting of hundreds of law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, and victim assistance specialists, the bureau said.
Law enforcement targeted hotels, casinos, truck stops, internet websites, and street corners. The youngest victim recovered was three-months old, while the average victim's age was 15.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Jason Kaplan, said in Charlotte Wednesday, the operation's success was due in large part to assistance from local law enforcement and especially from the public.
"A great deal of the cases that we investigate are brought to us by the community," said Kaplan. "It's by interested citizens who understand that something isn't the way it should be when they interact with someone, when they see something and think that something's wrong."
Kaplan encouraged citizens to contact the FBI if they suspect a case of sex trafficking by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI.