GREEN BAY, Wis. — Dozens of minors were recently rescued during a nationwide sex trafficking sting, including two in Wisconsin, according to the FBI.
Police from multiple agencies searched websites and arranged meetings with people who buy or sell sex as part of Operation Cross Country, WLUK-TV reported . Police made 82 arrests in Wisconsin over three days. The FBI says two minors were removed from a trafficking situation in Racine.
Some people have a hard time differentiating prostitution and sex trafficking, said Lt. Jim Valley from the Brown County Sheriff's Department.
"Sometimes they can make a good argument on it, but they do have to realize that these girls are victims," Valley said. "And we're finding that 90 percent are victims, being forced to do this. I don't think they would appreciate anybody in their family being forced to do something unwillingly, especially having a sexual encounter."
Sgt. Matt Wilson leads the county sheriff's human trafficking efforts. He said investigators hope to rescue victims from human trafficking, as well as to stop sex buyers and prevent the problem from continuing.
"It's very difficult to sit here day after day and just think how many girls are out there in Green Bay and you not being able to get to them," Wilson said. "It's terrible what's happening. And it is happening here. Don't let anybody fool you and say that it's not happening, because it is."
The FBI said police have rescued 84 minors and arrested 120 traffickers across the U.S.
This is the 11th year the FBI has run the nationwide sting.