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The FBI says that its Child Exploitation Task Force and a number of state and local partner agencies recovered two child sex trafficking victims and arrested three pimps in Oregon as part of a national operation last week.

The initiative, called Operation Cross Country IX, is a ninth use of the program spearheaded by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to target criminal enterprises responsible for the commercial sex trafficking of children.

The three minors were recovered in Portland and Beaverton. The arrests were made in Beaverton, Eugene and Salem.

A minor was recovered and three pimps were also arrested in Vancouver, Wash.

"Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. "As a result of the FBI's outstanding coordination and exemplary efforts alongside state and local partners during Operation Cross Country, more children will sleep safely tonight, and more wrongdoers will face the judgment of our criminal justice system. The Department of Justice will continue to aggressively and persistently fight this heinous crime, and to hold its perpetrators accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

Operation Cross Country IX is the largest ever in the nine-year history of the initiative, with 53 FBI field offices and 73 state and local task forces taking part in the operation in 135 cities across America.

This year, one minor was recovered in Portland. That is far below the seven minors recovered in city in 2009 that prompted Portland to be portrayed as a national center for prostitution.

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