The FBI has rescued 105 child sex-trafficking victims, FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko announced Monday.
The youngest of the rescued children was 9 years old, according to Reuters.
"Many times the children that are taken in in these types of criminal activities are children that are disaffected, they are from broken homes, they may be on the street themselves," FBI Acting Executive Assistant Director Kevin Perkins said, according to the network. "They are really looking for a meal, they are looking for shelter, they are looking for someone to take care of them."
Another victim, identified as "Alex," told interviewers she became a prostitute at the age of 16, when she felt she had no other options to feed and clothe herself.
LISTEN TO ALEX'S STORY (article continues below) :
“At first it was terrifying," Alex told interviewers, "and then you just kind of become numb to it. You put on a whole different attitude—like a different person. It wasn’t me. I know that. Nothing about it was me.”
The raids also resulted in the arrests of 150 "pimps" and other individuals, according to an FBI press release.
The rescues were the product of Operation Cross Country, a three-day nationwide initiative to aid victims of underage prostitution.
Operation Cross Country is a part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, a joint program by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created to fight child sex trafficking in the United States.
Since 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative has netted the rescue of more than 2,700 children.