Ten Wisconsin children rescued in sex trafficking sting
MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin children saved from being sex slaves. A Milwaukee mother knows firsthand what those families are going through.
One of her daughters has been a victim of secret world of of child sex trafficking.
"Stay vigilant, don't give up," said Maria, who doesn't want her last name to be used. "These girls, give them hope."
Over the weekend, the FBI and local law enforcement arrested 100 people involved in child sex trafficking. Ten girls were recovered: Six in Milwaukee, one in West Allis, one in Oak Creek and two in Madison.
As the FBI and local law enforcement aggressively go after child sex trafficking in states all across the country, Maria isn't surprised Milwaukee is one of the most active cities. But she has mixed feelings about the results.
"Sad and excited at the same time because we are finally doing something about this," said Maria.
Sad because so many girls are lured into the sex trafficking world - including her daughter who still struggles with it.
"These girls are pushed into doing prostitution," said Maria.
TODAY'S TMJ4's I-Team first reported this month about the FBI's new squad unit dedicated to this problem.
Investigators can't explain why southeast Wisconsin is so active in the sex trafficking business.
"Couple of years ago, quite frankly, it was not on our radar," said Milwaukee FBI Special Agent Steve Conley. "And then we started getting all these reports from other cities, other divisions the girls where coming in from Wisconsin."
The FBI says its work is far from over. Maria's message, keep going after the bad guys.
"It's sad, there's bigger numbers out there but we'll get it, they'll get'em," said Maria
This is the second year Milwaukee was part of the nationwide crackdown and once again the Milwaukee area was near the top of the list of girls recovered or rescued.