Nationwide FBI operation leads to local sex trafficking arrests
By Elicia Dover
A nationwide FBI sex trafficking operation conducted across the country recovered 168 children in prostitution, 2 of those were in Arkansas. Authorities would not confirm the cities in which those children were from, but that one is from Northwest Arkansas and the other is from central Arkansas. The operation took place in seven Arkansas cities. Across the country 281 pimps were taken into custody, locally 5 pimps and 36 adult prostitutes were arrested. FBI national director James Comey was in Little Rock Tuesday. He applauded the local and national work to bring those prostitution rings down. "These are people crushing the souls of children and so we intend to respond with appropriate aggression to send a message to them and to others who think about making a living that way," Comey said. In Pulaski County, 10 prostitutes and two pimps were arrested, but as a spokesperson from the sheriff's office says, too often they go right back onto the streets. "Yeah it's pretty much a quick turnaround, we get what we need, we put them in jail and they're pretty much released almost immediately," said Lt. Chris Ameling of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. But there are ways out of sex trafficking. The organization "PATH" works daily to help recovering prostitutes and victims of sex trafficking. "One of the first things we tell them is, it is yours to give not theirs to take. And we began to work with them on the value of self and their value in god's eye not in man's eye. Especially not someone who has been cruel to them and caused them to think that is all they are worth," said Louise Allison of Partners Against Trafficking Humans. PATH gives them a place to live, education and counseling in hopes of setting them on a new path. "If they have the opportunity to get out and stay out and they have a safe place to go, they can make a life change," Allison said. To find out how to help PATH visit their website by clicking here.
KATV ABC 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas covers news, sports, weather and the local community in the city and the surrounding area, including Hot Springs, Conway, Pine Bluff, Jacksonville, Sherwood, Stuttgart, Benton, Bauxite, East End, Scott, Pinnacle, Maumelle, Gibson, Landmark and Hensley.