Nine arrests were made by the Lubbock Police Department Special Operations Division during the investigation on Feb. 2nd and 3rd, according to LPD spokeswoman Kasie Whitley.
Operation Cross Country is an effort to focus on recovering underage victims of prostitution and sex trafficking,” she said.
The arrestees are:
n Sebrena Garcia, 20 — prostitution.
n Sherbrodrick Jemel Holloman, 28 — felon in possession of a firearm; aggravated assault on a public servant out of Pecos.
n Crystal Varela, 19 — prostitution.
n Sosha Lane, 29 — prostitution.
n Esmerejildo Balderas, 20 — unlawful possession of a firearm.
n Tesly Garcia — no booking information, arrested on a warrant.
n Jazmine Soliz — prostitution.
n Brittany Danielle Pena, 22 — prostitution.
n Latricia Nicole Alonzo, 40 — possession of a controlled substance.
Lauren Hagee, a spokeswoman for the FBI Dallas Division, said the national operation resulted in the recovery of 84 sexually exploited juveniles and the arrests of 120 traffickers.
“This is a problem and it is growing,” she said, “and these enterprises that engage in child sex trafficking can exist anywhere, and they capitalize financially on the commercial sexual exploitation of children.”
The operation occurred in 55 field offices, as the agency has 76 Child Exploitation Task Forces with more than 500 agencies participating in those task forces nationwide. Covering What Medicare Won’t Ad by Merrill See More
“The teams are comprised of law enforcement, victim assistance, social service entities, medical and other community representatives,” Hagee said.
According to the FBI website, the operation has expanded into Canada, the United Kingdom, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Since it began in 2003, Operation Cross Country — which is a part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative — has resulted in the identification and recovery of more than 6,500 from sex trafficking.
Hagee said it is an ongoing initiative between the FBI and state, local and national law enforcement partners, who are targeting criminal enterprises that are responsible for the commercial sex trafficking of children.
traffickers who have been prosecuted through the efforts of the investigation, more than 30 have received life sentences.
During the operation, that ended Sunday, law enforcement officials took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops and social media sites frequented by those involved in sex trafficking.
The FBI website states more than 100 victim specialists were on the scene to provide crisis intervention and resources for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and medical attention.
“All of the recovered minors were offered services by specialists who are either part of the FBI’s Victim Services Division or members of other local and state law enforcement agencies,” the website states.
And while minors are referred to as those younger than 18, Hagee said the average age of a victim — male or female — is about 16, but they have seen victims as young as 9.
Whitley said the investigation will continue through members of the LPD Special Operations Division.
Copyright Liberty Light News. All rights reserved