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Local agencies join FBI's Operation Cross Country VII

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FBI: Operation Cross Country VII rescues 105 sexually exploited children FBI: Operation Cross Country VII rescues 105 sexually exploited children
BOSSIER CITY, La. -

A three day FBI sting in 76 cities- Operation Cross Country VII- picks up 105 children forced or coerced into prostitution.

"Our goal is to get these young girls into some form of treatment and to help them reshape their lives and reclaim their innocence to the extent they can," says Ronald Hosko, FBI Criminal Investigative Division assistant director.

Most of the victims range in age from 13 to 17, but Fox News reports the youngest victim is just nine years old.

Six organizations in northwest Louisiana- including Bossier City police- joined the FBI in the crackdown to pick up pimps, johns, and adult prostitutes.

"I saw where in some cities, they liberated kids," says Mark Natale, Bossier City Police Department's public information officer. "I didn't hear of anything of that nature here."

Stephanie Finley, US Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, is prosecuting people involved in child pornography through Operation Dreamboard. She hopes this latest round up will prevent future abuse.

"We hope that these arrests send a message to individuals in this district that we will take [this] serious," Finley says. "And again, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children points out that 60% of children reported missing and thought to be involved in child sex trafficking, were in foster care or group homes when they ran away. The girls are often lured in by the promise of money and protection, but they get a very different reality.

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