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Nine children rescued from Wyo.-Colo. trafficking ring

Jul 30, 2013 - The Associated Press

DENVER -- Law enforcement officers in a region that includes Colorado and Wyoming have rescued nine children and arrested six pimps in a three-day, nationwide sweep aimed at curbing child sex trafficking and underage prostitution, the FBI said Monday.

The children were among 105 recovered in 76 cities nationwide, the FBI said.

FBI spokesman Dave Joly of the agency's Denver office said many if not all of the rescued children are girls. About 15 agencies including police departments from Casper to Pueblo, Colo., helped with the arrests involving the FBI's Denver division. Details of the arrests weren't immediately available.

Meagan Morris, outreach and development coordinator for the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking in Denver, which runs a 24-hour hotline for victims in Colorado and trains law-enforcement agencies on the issue, said advocates around the state have identified more than 300 children, women and men who have been forced to either sell sex or to work in other jobs against their will over the last six years in Colorado.

She said it's hard to tell how Wyoming's and Colorado's problem with trafficking compares with other states. Having two main interstate highways, the largest international airport for about 600 miles, a large tourism industry with many service workers and a large population of homeless youth help contribute to trafficking -- whether for prostitution or other work -- in Colorado, she said.

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