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FBI’s Operation Cross Country, targeting human trafficking, nets 82 arrests in WI

MILWAUKEE — Eighty-two people were arrested during a recent FBI initiative called Operation Cross Country, a three-day human trafficking sting.

This year’s Operation Cross Country involved 55 FBI field offices and 78 FBI-led Child Exploitation Task Forces composed of more than 500 law enforcement agencies. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and through social media sites frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and their customers.

A spokesman with the FBI Milwaukee Division, in announcing the results of the operation in Wisconsin, said two juveniles were rescued in Racine, and 82 arrests were made out of a total of 84 individuals who had contact with law enforcement during this initiative.

The following Wisconsin law enforcement agencies took part:

  • Milwaukee Police Department
  • Racine Police Department
  • Racine County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department
  • Kenosha Police Department
  • Pleasant Prairie Police Department
  • Mount Pleasant Police Department
  • Glendale Police Department
  • West Allis Police Department
  • Appleton Police Department
  • Brown Deer Police Department
  • Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office
  • Homeland Security
  • Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation
  • Brown County Sheriff’s Office
  • Green Bay Police Department
  • De Pere Police Department
  • Ashwaubenon Public Safety
  • La Crosse Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • La Crosse Police Department
  • WI State Patrol
  • Town of Shelby Police Department
  • West Salem Police Department
  • Onalaska Police Department
  • Holmen Police Department
  • Bangor Police Department

Nationwide, this effort led to the recovery of 84 sexually exploited juveniles and the arrest of 120 alleged traffickers, according to the release.

This was the 11th iteration of Operation Cross Country, which has expanded beyond the United States, with Canada, the United Kingdom, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand undertaking similar operations.