The largest child sex trafficking sweep to date hits close to home, as 11 News has learned that several Colorado children were rescued and a number of adults arrested.
Nine exploited Denver-area children are among the 105 rescued over the last three days. More than 150 pimps and other individuals associated with child prostitution were arrested in the same sweep, including a number out of the Denver metro area and Pueblo.
Operation Cross Country spanned 76 cities nationwide. The FBI teamed up with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies over a 72 hour period.
The Colorado Springs and Pueblo police departments were among the area law enforcement agencies that participated in this sweep. The Pueblo Police Department says that no children were recovered locally, but that 10 adults in the area were arrested for crimes related to prostitution.
These people have been identified as:
-Alyssa Tinting, 30, arrested for prostitution
-Laura Abeyta, 36, arrested for prostitution
-Joanna Abraham, 23, arrested for prostitution
-Trelynn Nicholas, 20, arrested for prostitution
-Carla Escapin, 34, arrested for prostitution
-Alexandria Curtis, 36, arrested for prostitution
-Amelia Tyler, 27, arrested for prostitution
-Leon Vigil, 75, arrested for soliciting a prostitute
-Abel Gonzales, 48, arrested for soliciting a prostitute
-Ricky Lee Berry, 42, arrested for soliciting a prostitute
It's not clear if these individuals had any involvement with child sex crimes.
CSPD says detectives from the Metro Vice and Narcotics units conducted operations over the three-day period, resulting in nine arrests for prostitution, as well as also clearing several warrants and obtaining "an array of information relating to prostitution in our jurisdiction from the involved parties." The Sand Creek Impact Team reportedly assisted with transporting and processing the arrested parties.
In Denver, six pimps were arrested.
"The operation targeted venues where girls and adults are operating for commercial sex. That includes street tracks, truck stops, motels, casinos, internet sites, social media platforms and the like," a spokesman with the FBI said Monday.
Victims located in the latest sweep were between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.
The bureau's Innocence Lost National Initiative, formed in 2003, has resulted in the recovery of more than 2,700 sexually exploited children.
-nine juveniles recovered
-six pimps arrested
-11 pimps identified
-51 adults cited/arrested for prostitution
-25 arrested for soliciting a prostitute
-six adults arrested for other crimes (drugs, warrants, etc), including four felony warrants.
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