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FBI, Police in Oregon Target Child Sex Trafficking OperationsSalem-News.com Staff
Many of the adults had been trafficked since they were 13 or 14 years old.
(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - The FBI, local law enforcement partners and victim service agencies from throughout the region joined forces to launch multi-day undercover operations targeting child sex trafficking operations in the Portland metro and Eugene areas.
These operations, which ran June 18th - June 22nd, resulted in the recovery of one minor child and the identification of 20 adult prostitutes. Many of the adults had been trafficked since they were 13 or 14 years old.
The Oregon FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force conducted these stings in conjunction with a national weeklong event, Operation Cross Country VIII, which include d enforcement actions in 54 FBI field offices and 106 cities across the United States.
Law enforcement and social service providers worked with each victim to provide counseling, mental health services, medical assistance, housing, and advocacy resources to them. Due to the sensitive nature of these cases, there will be no further details released about the minor child sex trafficking victim.
As part of Operation Cross Country VIII, local police arrested three traffickers on state charges. Those arrested include:
Joseph McKenzie, age 41 , charged with promoting prostitution (arrested by Portland Police Bureau)
Courtney L. Milan , age 23, charged with promoting prostitution (arrested by Beaverton Police Department)
Alexandra R. Roberts, age 22, charged with promoting prostitution (arrested by Eugene Police Department)
In addition to the minor victim, local police cited 20 adult women on prostitution charges. Victim specialists offered all of these women the opportunity to access help through law enforcement victim service programs and the social service partners.
"Sex traffickers are selling kids - our kids - every day in motels, on the street and in our neighborhoods for sex. Over time, the children age into adulthood - but the impact of this victimization continues for each of them, their families, and the community as a whole," said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.
"The FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force brings together our agents, local law enforcement, and passionate community advocates. They are doing great work - not just during Operation Cross Country stings, but every day, pulling children out of horrendously violent and abusive situations. They cannot do their jobs, though, without the help of concerned parents, teachers and community members."
If you suspect that a child is being sexually exploited, please call your nearest FBI office or local law enforcement agency immediately.
In the course of - but unrelated to - the undercover stings, officers and agents came into contact with a four-year-old child living with a non-custodial parent. That child was placed in state custody, and local police arrested the parent on outstanding warrants.
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