(STMW) — Authorities announced Monday that four people from Chicago were arrested in a nationwide operation targeting child sex traffickers.
In the past week, the FBI joined local, state and federal authorities in Operation Cross Country VIII, in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to make arrests and rescue girls being forced into prostitution, the FBI said in a statement.
Police recovered 168 children who were involved in child prostitution in 106 cities across the country, the FBI said. A total of 281 people were arrested nationwide, including four from the Chicago area.
Demarcus Feltus, 29, and Laburron Jackson, 29, both of Chicago, were ordered held on $500,000 bonds Monday in DuPage County Court after being charged in Aurora with promoting juvenile prostitution within 1,000 feet of a school, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office said in a statement.
The two were arrested after an undercover officer with the Aurora Police Special Operations Group answered an advertisement offering “2 sexy females” and made arrangements to meet the girls at a hotel near Robert Morris College on June 20, prosecutors said.
About 12:30 p.m. that day, Feltus and Jackson drove the 15-year-old girls to the hotel and waited in the car after dropping them off. The men allegedly threatened to steal the girls’ personal items if they didn’t have sex with the man they thought was a customer, prosecutors alleged.
Once the officer spoke to the girls, he gave other agents a signal to approach the men as they waited, prosecutors said. Jackson was arrested without incident, but Feltus ran and had to be chased before being taken in to custody, prosecutors said.
Jackson will appear in court in Wheaton on July 3, and Feltus will appear July 8, the sheriff’s office said.
The names of the other two people arrested were not immediately available.
“Targeting and harming America’s children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences.” said FBI Director James B. Comey. “Every child deserves to be safe and sound.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)