NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- The FBI in New Orleans announced the arrest of 7 pimps and the rescue of 3 underage victims in connection with an undercover sting called Operation Cross Country IX. This is the ninth year for the operation. Nationally, the FBI announced the arrest of 153 pimps and the rescue of 149 underage trafficking victims.
In Louisiana, agents worked with law enforcement in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, St. Charles, Jefferson Parish, and New Orleans. The teenagers who were rescued will now receive support from victims advocate groups.
The youngest victim is 12 and three are transgender. Only 3 of the 149 rescued are males.
The FBI says this is the largest year ever for the operation. It included agents from 53 field offices and targeted 135 cities across the country.
Last May, WGNO News interviewed the FBI's Special Agent in Charge in New Orleans specifically about the human trafficking problem. Click here to see the story.