Memphis FBI rescues 3 kids as part of nationwide sex trafficking - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis FBI division rescues 3 kids as part of nationwide sex trafficking sting

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The FBI announced Monday that 105 children involved in sex trafficking have been recovered in 76 U.S. cities. Three of those children were recovered by the FBI division in Memphis.

The youngest victim was 13 years old. In a news conference, officials reported the 72-hour operation also netted the arrest of 150 pimps, two of whom were in Memphis.

The FBI is calling this the "largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children through prostitution".

Assistant director Ron Hosko said sex trafficking among children remained a prevalent problem, and most victims were found in the age range of 13 to 17. He said the FBI hoped to spur potential solutions and increase support for victims services.

The effort was done under the agency's Operation Cross Country, part of the Innocence Lost initiative. It has resulted in more than 2,700 children recovered from trafficking and 1,300-plus pimps and madams arrested since its inception.

"Operation Cross Country is saving lives and bringing justice to those who violently manipulate these children and sell them for sex," said John Ryan, CEO, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Freida Wright's daughter, 18-year-old Charlisa, was arrested over the weekend. She is accused of advertising a 14-year-old on the website backpage.com.

"I don't believe she made that little girl do anything," said Charlisa's mother, who thinks her daughter's boyfriend had been controlling her daughter with drugs while at the same time, pimping her out for months. The boyfriend, Trenton Mitchell, was also arrested.

"If you got a man that wanna sell your body, he don't love you anyway. I told her that plenty of times. She wasn't listening to me," said Wright.

Federal agents say their efforts over the weekend are a counter attack on a story that is all too common.

Wright, Mitchell, and a third person, Rodney Armstrong, are all due in court a week from Monday.

The FBI declined to release the ages of the other two children rescued here in Memphis.

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