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Child recovered during sex trafficking operation

Portland police recovered on minor sex trafficking victim and cited 20 adults of prostitution during Operation Cross Country VIII, the most recent multi-day sex trafficking initiative conducted by the FBI and local law enforcement and social service agencies across the country.

Portland police also arrested Joseph McKenzie, age 41, on charges of promoting prostitution.

The operation organized by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force ran from June 18 to June 22 in cities across the country. In Portland, victim specialists offered all of the women cited for prostitution the opportunity to access help through law enforcement victim service programs and the social service partners.

"Sex traffickers are selling kids — our kids — every day in motels, on the street and in our neighborhoods for sex. Over time, the children age into adulthood – but the impact of this victimization continues for each of them, their families, and the community as a whole,” says Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force brings together our agents, local law enforcement, and passionate community advocates. They are doing great work – not just during Operation Cross Country stings, but every day, pulling children out of horrendously violent and abusive situations. They cannot do their jobs, though, without the help of concerned parents, teachers and community members.”

Local FBI Child Exploitation Task Force members include: the Portland Police Bureau; the Beaverton Police Department; Tigard Police Department; and the Vancouver Police Department.

Other participating agencies include: the Eugene Police Department; the Hillsboro Police Department; the Troutdale Police Department; the Washington County Sheriff’s Office; the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office; Metro Gang Task Force; the Interagency Gang Enforcement Team; the Prostitution Enforcement Team; the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office; the Washington County District Attorney’s Office; the Lane County District Attorney’s Office; and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Social service and non-profit agencies who provided assistance during Operation Cross Country VIII locally include: LifeWorks NW; the Sexual Assault Resource Center; the Oregon Department of Human Services; the Beaverton Police Department Victim Services; the Multnomah County Department of Human Service/Child Protective Services; the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice; the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office Victim Services; the Washington County Department of Human Services/Child Protective Services

Washington County Juvenile Department; the Lane County Department of Youth Services; the Lane County District Attorney’s Office of Victim Services; the Lane County Department of Human Services/Child Protective Services; and the United States Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Program.