A nationwide operation targeting human trafficking led to the arrest of a Porterville man on suspicion of felony pimping, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
He was identified as Sidney Ryan Gordon.
As part of Operation Cross Country XI, 84 minors were recovered 120 suspected traffickers arrested, according to an FBI news release on the effort that ran Oct. 12-15.
FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos and truck stops and on street corners and Internet websites. The youngest victim recovered during this year’s operation was 3 months old; the average age was 15.
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Among the specific cases cited by the FBI was one out of the Denver office in which two girls were recovered, including the 3-month-old and a 5-year-old. The suspect, a friend of the children’s family, the FBI stated, offered an undercover officer access for sexual purposes in exchange for $600.
“We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation’s children from harm,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested – and the number of children recovered – reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work.
“This operation isn't just about taking traffickers off the street. It’s about making sure we offer help and a way out to these young victims who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle of abuse."