SALT LAKE CITY — A four-day effort to stop underage human trafficking resulted in law enforcement officials recovering 84 juveniles and the arrest of 120 suspected traffickers, including one in Utah.
The FBI on Wednesday announced the results of its annual Operation Cross Country, now in its 11th year.
Between Oct. 12-15, 55 FBI field offices worked with 78 state and local task forces — consisting of hundreds of law enforcement officers — and "staged operations in hotels, casinos and truck stops, as well as on street corners" across the nation, according to the FBI.
The youngest victim recovered during the operation was 3 months old, and the average age of victims recovered was 15 years old, the agency stated.
In Salt Lake County, the operation was conducted Oct. 13-15. One man was arrested in Salt Lake City for investigation of exploitation of a prostitute. Seven women involved in prostitution were also identified and offered services to help them, according to the FBI.1 comment on this story
Operation Cross Country XI is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative. More than 6,500 children have been recovered from exploitation and trafficking situations since the program in 2003, according to the FBI.
In Utah, Salt Lake police arrested Roger Dewayne Jessop, 28, at a hotel in West Valley City. Jessop was arrested Oct. 13 for investigation of exploitation of a prostitute.
According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, an undercover officer arranged a meeting with a prostitute, which in turn lead investigators to Jessop, who "encouraged, induced or otherwise purposely caused the female prostitute to become or remain a prostitute."