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Catching Sex Workers: A Look at Operation Cross Country X

December 23, 2016, on Articles |

Each year for the past 10 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has run a nationwide sex sting operation. The operation is called Operation Cross County X and the ostensible goal of the operation is for the FBI to catch people who are engaged in trafficking of minor children.  The problem is, this is not what is actually happening. Instead, Reason reports that adult female sex workers are getting caught up in Operation Cross Country X. These sex workers are being arrested, jailed and they are losing their money.

Unfortunately, state and federal law enforcement authorities continue to aggressively pursue cases against sex workers who are consenting adults engaged in victimless crimes. If you are one of the many who is accused of a sex crime, you should talk with Albany sex crime lawyers as soon as possible to try to fight charges and protect your reputation and freedom.

Sex Crimes Sting Catches Sex Workers

As part of Operation Cross Country X, the FBI partnered with local law enforcement, including police and sheriff's deputies. Investigators from Homeland Security and state attorneys also took part in the sting operation. The operation occurred in 103 different U.S. cities throughout the United States between October 13 and October 16, and more than 440 law enforcement agencies took part in the sting operation.

The operation worked by sending people (undercover) to hotels, truck stops, casinos and other areas that often serve as gathering places for prostitutes, pimps, and the customers who use the services of prostitutes. 

As a result of all of the money and effort spent, there were 82 sexually-exploited juveniles found who had an average age of just under 16. In addition to identifying these minors, arrests were made of 239 “pimps and other individuals.”

The FBI made numerous public announcements about the success of the operation, which Reason describes as “depressing” because the sting ended up not being a program that primarily helped children but instead ended up simply leading to the arrest of consenting adult sex workers. 

Reason researched the arrests and found that around three-quarters of all of the arrests were for simple prostitution. One person arrested was an older homeless woman and another was a 61-year-old woman who was offering sex out of a hotel room. 

Two 18-year-olds were also arrested, one for prostitution and the other for fraud, theft and tampering with government records. As Reason pointed out, if the 18-year-old and been just a few months younger, she would have been considered a victim deserving of services instead of a criminal deserving arrest.

Treating younger sex workers as victims and older sex workers as criminals is a damaging distinction with serious consequences. Unfortunately, society has stigmatized sex work and criminalized consenting behavior in adults, which means an accusation of a sex crime can ruin your life. 

The attorneys at The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC can provide invaluable assistance to those accused of any sex offenses at the state or federal level. Contact one of our experienced attorneys to discover more about your options for responding to sex offense accusations.