Some involved said they specifically came to New Jersey for prostituting women and children at the Super Bowl, the FBI announced Tuesday.
The FBI stated that the youth, ages 13 to 17, included children reported missing by their families, high school students, and some victims of international trafficking.
“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.
Michael Harpster, chief of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section, said, “It’s easy to focus on this issue in light of a high-profile event, but the sad reality is, this is a problem we see every day in communities across the country.”
The Super Bowl joint operation is part of an effort called “Innocence Lost National Initiative,” started in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, the Department of Justice, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The operation addresses the problem of child prostitution. It has recovered more than 3,100 children to date.