During a three-day sweep that officials yesterday called the largest operation against child sex-trafficking, the FBI arrested 150 people across the country and charged them with child prostitution.
The suspects, whom the FBI referred to as "pimps," were arrested in 76 cities and are expected to face state and federal charges related to sex crimes and human trafficking.
FBI agents and local police recovered 105 children during the operation at truck stops, motels, casinos and other places, officials said.
The FBI typically does not investigate adult prostitution, leaving it as a state and local matter, but in recent years it has made child prostitution a top priority in a program the FBI calls Operation Cross Country.
"We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it," according to FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko.