The numbers: according to the FBI

The FBI’s Project Innocence Lost (it’s not a porn site, it’s a thing where they arrest you if you lose your innocence) which, in Alaska, is headed up by Jolene Goedin, has had several Operation Cross Countries in Alaska. Operation Cross Country is an annual-ish project where the FBI goes cross country cooperating with local law enforcement agencies to do prostitution stings in hope of finding sex trafficking victims.

In 2009 the FBI conducted an “end demand” or “Swedish” style sting in Wasilla, posing as a sex worker and arresting 10 customers. No sex trafficking victims were rescued or pimps discovered (“Prostitution sting netted 10, had different goal,” the ADN reported), but the sting did lead to increased violence against sex workers.

In June of 2014 Operation Cross Country again came to Alaska. Nationally the FBI reported arresting 1.67 pimps for every victim rescued, but in Anchorage they reported arresting 3 pimps and rescuing 3 victims. However, records requests turned up no charges at the state, municipal, or federal level during the entire month of June, 2014.

In October of 2015 Operation Cross Country happened again in Anchorage. Although Alaska didn’t rate the FBI’s federal press release, it was reported locally that the FBI “assisted” 9 sex trafficking victims. What do “assist” and “sex trafficking victim” mean? Listen to one “assisted” woman’s story here.