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4 alleged Minn. pimps arrested in national child prostitution sweep

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A massive three-day child prostitution sweep carried out by the FBI last week picked up 150 alleged pimps across the country, including four in Minnesota.

Local FBI spokesperson Kyle Loven told KARE 11 that two suspects were arrested in St. Paul last Thursday, one was picked up in Minneapolis last Friday and another was arrested in Anoka County on Saturday.

USA TODAY reports 105 children, ranging from 13 to 17 years old, were recovered in the largest law enforcement action focused on kids forced into prostitution. The alleged victims were almost all girls, ABC News reported.

USA TODAY points out the largest number of children, 12, were found in San Francisco, while the most alleged pimps, 18, were arrested in Detroit.

No children were rescued in Minnesota as part of the bust.

The FBI's Operation Cross Country, a campaign that has resulted in rescuing 2,700 children since 2003, is conducted in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Minnesota is one of 11 states that have passed the Safe Harbor Act, which requires authorities to treat sexually exploited children as victims instead of criminals.

According to the Polaris Project, a group pushing for stronger laws to combat human trafficking, there are 100,000 children in the commercial sex trade in the United States.

The national campaign has lead to the convictions of 1,350, including life imprisonment for 10 pimps, and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets, ABC News reported.

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