KHQ.COM - The FBI rescued more than a hundred children Monday in a nationwide sting against child sex trafficking. More than 150 alleged traffickers are behind bars. The Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) carried out Operation Cross Country in 76 cities, including the Seattle area.
The FBI says young adults and even three child victims were rescued on the west side of the state. CETF arrested nine people in the Seattle area that they believe forced victims into prostitution.
Young people in the Inland Northwest have also fallen victim to human trafficking. In May of 2012, four people were arrested when a woman accused them of holding her captive. She claimed they sold her for sex and forced her to make methamphetamine.
CETF says at risk youth are especially vulnerable to human trafficking. It says children between 13 and 16 years old are especially susceptible. They are often foster children or runaways with no concerned family members looking for them.
CETF says traffickers use manipulation and threats to control their victims, even forced drug use.
Polaris Project is dedicated to stopping human trafficking. It lists resources and help hotlines on it's website. To look at resources in Washington state click here: http://www.polarisproject.org/state-map/washington