A joint operation by the FBI in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey over Super Bowl weekend recovered 16 juveniles, ages 13 to 17, who were forced into underage prostitution, the Hartford Courant reports. Some were high school students and children who had been reported missing by their families. The operation resulted in the arrests of more than 45 alleged pimps and their associates in the three states, some of whom claimed to be in the area specifically for the purpose of prostituting women and children at the Super Bowl.
“High profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. The focus of the operation, said FBI agent Daniel Curtin in New Haven, was to recover the juveniles forced into these “despicable” situations. Then if you can disrupt the network of prostitution,” he said. “The hope is that we dismantle these organizations.” Adult victims of human trafficking also were recovered during the operation.