ATLANTA — Six people from Clayton County were among 71 men and women busted in a nationwide operation targeting commercial child sex trafficking, said FBI officials Monday.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said 11 juveniles were also recovered during Operation Cross County VIII. Officials with Clayton County Police Department, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, Clayton County District Attorney’s Office and Clayton County Solicitor’s Office participated in the FBI sting. Jonesboro-based Rainbow House also provided resources, said Emmett.
Karl Hudnall, 48, of Riverdale has been charged with pimping. Aleysa Brooks, 20, of Riverdale; Sharita Jackson, 23, of Riverdale; Brittany Moore, 20, of Morrow; Monique Long, 27, of Forest Park and Akia Johnson, 20, of Riverdale have been charged with prostitution, he said.
Other suspects were charged with criminal attempt child molestation, enticement of a minor and solicitation.
J. Britt Johnson, special agent in charge in the FBI Atlanta Field Office, said the operation reflects the agency’s commitment to protect vulnerable children.
“The FBI’s commitment and dedication toward the protection of our nation’s children is clearly demonstrated in this latest national initiative and its primary objective of recovering juveniles being exploited and arresting those exploiting them,” he said. “This is not an easy endeavor and the extensive participation and support from our various law enforcement partners is not only appreciated but is very much needed for these initiatives to be successful.”
Emmett said Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the U.S. 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, he said. The investigations and subsequent 1,450 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 14 life terms.
“These FBI-led 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,” said Emmett.
All suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty.