TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Child sex trafficking operates in the shadows but a string of arrests the FBI announced Wednesday is designed to pull sex traffickers out of the shadow.and into the prisons.
Video from the FBI gives an insider's view of what it takes to stop sex traffickers and help the children they drove into prostitution.
The video shows undercover work in Colorado and Ohio but similar operations happened in Arizona, especially around Maricopa County.
Advertising matches prostitutes and customers, and helps agents find them.
Agents watch the motels, and the truck stops.
Pagers and cell phones are part of the process for an international business.
An agent asks a young woman, "Are you from Russia? How did you end up coming from Russia to Denver and do this? How did that happen? "
This is the eleventh year for the program the FBI calls Operation Cross Country. Besides the US, it includes international law enforcement from Canada, the UK, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The operation recognizes the young girls are more victim than criminal---forced into selling sex while some are in their early teens.
Agents work to lock up the pimps but unlock new lives for the women.
A female agent tells a young woman, "If you want to stop all this, stop what you're doing, stop this work you can call that and they can do that for you. They can help you stay in the United States, go back home to family. So you don't have to deal with this scary stuff."
In three days Operation Cross Country recovered 84 young people and arrested 120 of the people who forced them into selling sex.