A massive nationwide sting has seen over 500 people connected to child sex offenses arrested in the first of many Pizzagate raids.
The arrests follow a massive sting operation involving 23 law enforcement agencies in 14 states taking part in the National Johns Suppression initiative. The program started three weeks ago and culminated on Super Bowl Sunday.
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) February 9, 2017
“Sex trafficking continues to destroy countless lives, and this broad national movement should send a strong message to prospective johns that their ‘hobby’ is much more than a ‘victimless’ crime,” said Illinois Sheriff Thomas J. Dart in a press release.
“It’s particularly meaningful that this sting culminated on the day of the Super Bowl, which unfortunately has emerged as a prominent haven for sex trafficking.”
The first wave of arrests comes just days after Jeff Sessions signed an executive order giving permission for authorities to begin arresting anybody connected to the scandal.
In Houston, where the Super Bowl LI was hosted, 183 sex offenders, including two firefighters, a retired police officer, and a Houston city employee were among those arrested.
“I’m exceedingly proud to lead the nation in targeting sex buyers and traffickers during this annual initiative,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told a press conference.
“Houston was home to Super Bowl LI. As we welcomed the world to our city, we made it clear that there is no place for victimization and sexual exploitation.”