WASHINGTON (AP) - Two Louisiana children were among more than a hundred forced into prostitution and recovered by the FBI in a series of raids in 76 American cities.
The FBI said it rescued 105 children and arrested 150 people described as pimps, prostitutes and johns in "Operation Cross Country." Of those, 21 were arrested in Louisiana and two children were recovered in the Baton Rouge area.
The operation was the largest of its type and conducted under the FBI's "Innocence Lost" initiative. The assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, Ron Hosko, said that child prostitution remains what he called a "persistent threat" to children across America.
Law enforcers say this sting shows this problem is steadily growing.
"It is an old crime that is still here and the exportation of children is something of evil nature that we must continue to fight always," said Charles DeLaughter, with the FBI.
The New Orleans district, which covers Louisiana, was fifth in overall arrests and recoveries out of the 47 offices participating in the raids.
The FBI said the campaign has resulted in rescuing 2,700 children since 2003.