FBI: Three juveniles recovered in La. operation targeting child - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

FBI: Three juveniles recovered in La. operation targeting child sex trafficking

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UPDATE: News Channel 5 has learned two people arrested in Alexandria as part of the operation were Gregory Eliot Harris, 40, of Lafayette,  and Peter Metoyer, 35, of Alexandria. 

Harris was arrested for Promoting Prostitution and Possession of Marijuana 3rd. He remains in hail on a $26,500 bond and a Parole Violation.

Metoyer was arrested for Possession CDS II, Drug Paraphernelia, and Promoting Prostitution. He remains in jal on a $25,250 bond.

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (KALB News Channel 5)--  During the past week the FBI and its local, state and federal law enforcement partner, conducted Operation Cross Country VIII to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the United States. The operation led to the recovery of 167 children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 260 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges. In all, law enforcement partners worked with 106 cities from 54 FBI field divisions across 37 states in conducting Operation Cross Country VIII.

Louisiana results included the recovery of three children and the arrest of 16 pimps. Also arrested were 75 prostitutes. The operation included enforcement actions in six cities throughout Louisiana, namely New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.

“Criminal programs are the core of the FBI, especially our work to protect the most vulnerable,” stated FBI Director James Comey, in a press conference earlier today in Washington, D.C., where he announced the results from the nationwide operation.

“Arrests and prosecutions are only part of the equation,” added Director Comey. “We are using the intelligence we collect to identify the larger network of trafficking, so that we can end the cycle of victimization. Targeting children – harming children – is a serious crime with serious consequences, as it should be.”

“While the investigative and prosecutive assets dedicated to this operation by the FBI and its partners has been immense, the public should also be aware that we offer a wide range of victim assistance resources, as well, in support of our year round efforts to address these repugnant crimes,” said Michael Anderson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI New Orleans. “These resources include such necessities as food, clothing, shelter, counseling, legal services and medical attention.”

Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to address the growing problem of child prostitution.

To date, the FBI and its task force partners have recovered more than 3,400 children from being exploited. The investigations and subsequent 1,450 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 14 life terms.

Task force operations usually begin as local enforcement actions that target truck stops, casinos, street “tracks,” and websites that advertise dating or escort services, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation. Information gleaned from those arrested frequently uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states. FBI agents further developed this evidence in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section so that prosecutors can help bring federal charges in those cities where child prostitution occurs.

The Innocence Lost National Initiative brings state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and social service providers from across the country to NCMEC for training.

Results from across Louisiana broken down by city are as follows:

New Orleans: 1 child recovered, and 17 adult prostitutes arrested

Alexandria: 2 pimps and 5 adult prostitutes arrested

Baton Rouge: 1 child recovered, 3 pimps and 17 adult prostitutes arrested

Lake Charles: 1 pimp, 10 adult prostitutes arrested

Monroe: 3 adult prostitutes arrested

Shreveport: 1 child recovered, 10 pimps arrested and 23 adult prostitutes arrested

Law enforcement officials also seized four vehicles, cash, cell phones, Heroin, methadone, xanax, marijuana, synthetic marijuana and other narcotics.

The FBI thanks its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners who participated in Operation Cross Country VIII and their ongoing enforcement efforts. Law enforcement partners participating across Louisiana included the Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Probation and Parole, New Orleans Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Springhill Police Department, Bossier Marshall’s Office, Bossier City Police Department, Shreveport Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. Also participating were the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General, Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services, Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice and Louisiana Department of Homeland Security.

 

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