(AP) Federal authorities say more than a dozen people have been arrested in central Virginia as part of a sting operation targeting underage human trafficking.
FBI officials said 16 people in Richmond, Winchester and surrounding counties including Henrico and Chesterfield were taken into custody over the weekend on charges ranging from keeping a bawdy place, solicitation and drug possession, media outlets report.
Authorities said the arrests were part of the annual Operation Cross Country, which is in its 10th year. This year’s operation spanned from Oct. 13-16 and involved 55 FBI field offices, 74 FBI-led Child Exploitation Task Forces and more than 400 law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
In all, 82 juveniles were rescued in the U.S. from the operation and 239 pimps and other individuals were arrested.